Oliver is an outcast who’s just moved to a new area with his mother and older brother. His home life is difficult, but his school life is even worse – and, just to make things even harder, Oliver has a secret that he desperately needs to keep. In a world where it seems that something very big and unusual has occurred – that’s as yet unexplained – Oliver just needs to keep his head down and make sure no one finds out what he’s hiding, but since when have things ever been that easy?
Opening with an intriguing and brilliantly illustrated, urgent action scene, we’re soon introduced to our main characters. Though Oliver’s narration is a little too self-aware and overwrought in its style, it’s a good insight into why he has so much trouble fitting in, as well as the circumstances at home, the details of which become more and more tragic as the issue unfolds. There’s some intriguing stuff happening with his school’s faculty that’s no doubt setting us up for some serious conflict as the series continues too.
Aimed at teens and above, the first issue of E-Ratic is full of neat touches, even if the writing can be a little clunky at times. The artwork – by Kaare Andrews, who also writes – is stunning, with a style that combines cartooniness with more photorealistic touches, reminiscent of the stylised look of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. The first issue ends on a cliffhanger that adds to the worldbuilding as well as setting us up for an unpredictable second chapter – who knows where we’ll be going from here? One thing’s for sure, it looks like it’s going to be a fun ride.
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