Thirty-seven years ago, Earth was secretly invaded by an alien force known as the Devolution, and they have been shaping the direction humanity has been going in ever since to prepare us to be assimilated into their empire. The Ministry Of Compliance #1 introduces a world behind the curtain, a subtle sci-fi epic full of political intrigue.
Writer John Ridley has a hell of a career dominating film, television, and comics. He’s a master storyteller that crafts tales that will often make you think and rarely delivers things in black and white. There’s a lot of grey when it comes to Ridley’s stories and they can challenge your perception and thoughts on particular topics. He’s able to craft a story where even the worst of the characters have something about them you can sympathize with.
The Ministry Of Compliance #1 kicks off a story of administration, bureaucracy, and corruption. Ridley, through some interesting storytelling, lays out the world and how everything works. The Devolution has thirteen ministries, each responsible for manipulating a different aspect of human life. The Ministry of Compliance, the most feared of all the ministries, led by the fierce Avigail Senna, makes sure all the ministries stay in line and remain focused on the Devolution’s mission. Unfortunately, some Ministries have become corrupted, taking on the less admirable qualities of the people on Earth. This forces Avigail to act, relieving some of their duties just as the assimilation of Earth is to begin. But, something goes wrong before that can happen, leaving Avigail and the dysfunctional Ministries to deal with things on their own.
At its surface, Ridley delivers a story of corporate bureaucracy and unflinching loyalty. There’s something here to chew on as far as assimilating the masses and accepting whatever you’re told to do by the higher ups. There’s also a lot about not doing one’s job and becoming content, bloated, and corrupted by one’s role and power one has gained from that. Whether Ridley is talking about corporations, the political/non-profit space, both, or more, remains to be seen, but it’s more than enough to chew on in just this one issue.
The art by Stefano Raffaele is intriguing. With color by Brad Anderson and lettering by Ariana Maher, the visuals are both cold and corporate but also an action style that’s a dance to watch and a body count and blood splatter that’d make Tarantino proud. It’s a comic whose visuals deliver a weird balance of well tailored suits and rather icy and lifeless buildings mixed with blood flowing all over. It’s interesting to look at and plays off of some of the themes and concepts that percolate underneath.
The Ministry of Compliance #1 is another intriguing series from Ridley. There’s potential here for a hell of an epic and one that’ll be packed with details and worldbuilding. As a start, it should suck in those that enjoy sci-fi that’ll make you think mixed with a little John Wick action. It’s another excellent release that shows off Ridley’s talents that we need more of in comics.
Story: John Ridley Art: Stefano Raffaele
Color: Brad Anderson Letterer: Ariana Maher
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy
IDW Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
Purchase: TFAW – Zeus Comics – Kindle