Before his foray into films, Jordan Peele was most known for his comedic flair. On his show, with fellow comedian, Keegan Michael-Key, we found flashes of his rather ubiquitous and grim mind. Though many of his sketches were shrouded in parody, there were flashes of distortion amongst many of them.
He shifted his comedic focus to horror as he shifted to film. He employed some of his scare tactics in the movie Us. The mere thought of people being casted out just because they are doppelgangers is both despicable and terrifying. In the first volume of The Unforgiven: Of Ashes Born, we get a world where the good have lost the war and cast out. Much like the Tethered in that movie they have not lost hope.
Within the first few pages, we get background of how the world became one big government, and how 25 years later, there are still detractors, who are The Unforgiven. As we find out that in this world, there are people who trust in the government, and those who don’t, who disappear, and the lucky ones become part of The Unforgiven. We meet Jared Patton, a normal guy, until one day when he steps the state police from harassing a young woman. As he takes her to his apartment, we find out that the state police is also after Jared, unbeknownst to him, as one of the government officials, Kensington Radcliffe, the Minister Of Order, about to choke him to death, is stopped by a fire breathing being, one that is there to help Jared. As Jon Diamond, his friend and roommate, finds out that there is more to this mysterious woman than meets the eye, as the very reason why Ministry of Order was after her, was her association with the leader of the Unforgiven, Christian Caine, as he shows both Jared and Jon , what really lies beyond The Edge, as millions of homeless people live there. As Caine brings them into the fold, as we meet his support personnel, Jeff, Coriander and Jon’s father’s old friend, Charles. By volume’s end, we find out Radcliffe will stop at nothing to find Jared and Jared might not be out of danger quite yet.
Overall, an excellent beginning to what looks to be a refreshing take on the dystopian genre. It’s one which keeps readers heads on a swivel. The story by Tyler B. Ruff is canny, solid and possesses excellent character development. The art by Ruff is awe-inspiring. Altogether, one of the best comics I’ve read by a brave new voice in a genre that seems well-traveled but with Ruff’s broad strokes has been renewed.
Story: Tyler B. Ruff Art: Tyler B. Ruff
Story: 9.3 Art: 9.2 Overall: 9.4 Recommendation: Buy