Ipso Facto v1: The Presence (Comixology)


CREDIT: Ipso Facto Comics

Rating: 4/5 – Will Magic Aliens Save Earth From Nuclear Disaster?
by ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall.

I reviewed the 1st 3 issues of Ipso Facto way back in November of 2013, and after a lengthy gap in publication, they seem to be back on track putting out issues (#4, 5, and 6 came out in March, April, May 2016).  Now you can read the entire 1st 6 issues in a digital trade available on Comixology. This is long-form story-telling though.  After 171 pages in this volume, we still have not hit the end of a story arc.  More like the end of the first act of a much larger piece of fiction.  The main concern I have is be how long it will take for the next arc to be completed, I have confidence that I’ll enjoy it when it is out there, but just when will that be?  Based on the last 3 months, hopefully the team has this back on track and will be publishing on a more regular basis moving forward.

I was impressed by Jason Badower’s art back in 2013 and remain just as impressed today.  He’s got a style that I really like, and his storytelling is solid.  That said, he could work on making his page design more interesting, there are a lot of rectangular panels in a mostly standard grid layout with the standard variations.  He switched it up a bit in issue 6 with a really interesting page where the character Willen is standing on the side of a cliff face, seeing more pages like this and more frequent experimentation with panels that are not squares or rectangles would make the book more visually interesting.

J.R. Rothenberg’s story focuses on the presence of the Fula, a secret alien race that has had 52,001 members living on Earth for a really long time and who suddenly begin a mass exodus off the planet, the impetus being a satellite designed to neutralize nuclear fallout launched by the powerful Tryum Corporation.  While ostensibly a sci-fi story; because, you know, aliens… this leans a bit more to the fantastical side of the sci-fi spectrum given the vast unexplained powers some of the Fula seem to be exhibiting.  They seem more magical than scientific, though here we would invoke Arthur C. Clarke’s 3rd law that states “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

Volume 1 of Ipso Facto is called “The Presence”.  An apt name.  This volume explores the presence of the Fula on Earth and really sets up the story to come.  We’re introduced to the main players and there are hints at motives for what is going on, but nothing seems to be concretely spelled out in this volume. Additionally, while I’m no Bible scholar and not particularly religious, I seemed to see quite a few biblical allusions.  The story has set the ball rolling towards nuclear Armageddon, and seeing the specific role the Fula are going to play both enabling and trying to prevent this is something I want to see.  There’s a shock-value scene at the end of this volume that left me with a sense of “WHAAAAAT?”  So I definitely want to come back to see what happens next.  Hopefully it won’t be a very long wait until we get the next installment.

Reviewed by: Bob Bretall
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