“Our ability to achieve near immortality through the eradication of all disease and the cloning of human organs has bred an entirely new threat to the survival of mankind. Overpopulation has brought the human race to the brink of near extinction. Now, more than ever, a program of governed population control must be considered. It is time we realized it is not the quantity of our life that matters, but the quality of it.”Â
It is the year 2496 and the population of the United States has reached 8.6 billion. Every human being, by law, is implanted with an SY-9 chip. This chip controls overpopulation by activating at random and “expiring” the host. In so many words, it kills them. One day, a rising politician vows to end the reign of the SY-9 chips, but then sadly “expires” on the brink of his popularity. The investigation of his death begins to unravel a dark and devious conspiracy. This is the world ofÂ Expiration Date.Â
Expiration Date #1,Â written by Robert Zappia and illustrated by Lee Wiley, is an entertaining and exciting debut into this dystopian future. I have to say that I am a huge sucker for the dystopian genre and am constantly on the lookout for new stories about this perhaps impending future. Frankly, a lot of these stories can blend together, but every once in a while I find one that stands out from the crowd. Expiration Date,Â I can honestly say, is one of them.
I was really impressed with how much they were able to convey about this world and the story with just the first issue. The narrative is well paced and the dialogue between the characters is natural, yet revealing of their personalities. For instance, there is a scene between two characters who are brothers and the conversation they have reveals so much about their relationship. With this first issue alone we’re introduced to so many interesting things about this world, and once you’re done it leaves you hungry for more. If you’re a fan of political conspiracies and dark futures, then you need to check out this comic book.
The artwork inÂ Expiration Date #1 is wonderful and perfectly conveys this dystopian future. The blue hues give the story a dark, yet technological feel. It reminded me a bit of the world ofÂ Tron,Â but its also brings a slight grunge element, showing that this future still has its slums making the atmosphere tangible and intriguing. At once point the colors change in the story, conveying a sense of danger. I love it when visually a story can make you realize that something is awry.Â Expiration DateÂ #1Â beautifully combines narrative and visuals to transport the reader into this future world.
Also, the book itself is beautifully bound. It’s a lovely finished product that shines.
Bottom Line:Â Definitely check outÂ Expiration Date #1.Â It’s the kind of dystopian story that deserves recognition and puts other stories (*cough*Â In TimeÂ *cough*) to shame.
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