This series displays one of the most subtle ways to talk about the effects and influences of our egregious desire for pleasure as a society. This desire bleeds into sociopolitical topics like gentrification, ecological harm, and the attachments we as a society uphold for technology. Overall, Join the Future #1 is an intriguing act of world-building by writer Zack Kaplan. Rather than showcase the dissent of society, Kaplan displays the dichotomy between the stark societal standards that have been formed within this new world. The opening pages serve more of an addition to a utopian resort advertisement that then cuts into the series title cards. This follows suit with an opening panel of a beautiful Midwestern scene that than narrows itself with each subsequential panel to where we see our protagonist Clem being guided on how to shoot by the mayor of a town that is almost reminiscent of the new frontier.
One of my favorite moments is the imagery with which acclaimed artist Piotr Kowalski layers his panels in a scene where our character becomes physically ill. It’s a great moment that really adds to the reader feeling the claustrophobia of the character by having these different sets of panels solely trained on our protagonist’s eye and the way it pivots this with the change in scenes; it’s just a really unique way to embrace the audience. This issue is chock-full of this subtle expertise of craft.
The colors and lettering really add some shock into how this issue transitions its various world-building compartments. Brad Simpson’s colors manage to really give this eclectic book some great dichotomy but still allows for there to be this fantastic tether in readers believing the validity of this world. What’s more is Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou’s lettering that offers a fine connection into the variation of how these voices are being distinguished.
In earnest this series finds itself broiled in cliches that are common within these dystopian epics. However, the fine craft of these creators manages to elevate the book beyond cliche with nuanced execution. It is definitely worth an investment, but looking to be into the long haul.