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Neotopia 2.4
story and art by Rod Espinosa

In this issue we begin to learn some of the secrets hidden on the island paradise, Eriden. There’s a secret vault of lost knowledge that Philios is determined to recover. There’s a hidden reason the island’s people are able to live in luxury without technology, one that a cursory knowledge of ancient Western civilization should allow you to guess.

And there’s an unexpected bargain struck that culminates in one of the best visuals in the series so far: a vast shadowy battle, rendered beautifully in the hushed blacks and grays of the small hours of the morning.

A lot of mainstream comics are focused primarily on a handful of characters, introducing a secondary character every now and then as necessary or keeping a large supporting cast of villains and acquaintances on the racks to be called up when they’re needed.

Neotopia’s numbers are much the same, but there’s something about the structure of the story and the world that make it feel more populated than average. The characters we’ve just met all have clear motivations and personalities, such that it’s never obvious who is there to advance
the plot passively and who might join the protagonists to take a more active role. It doesn’t all interlock perfectly; there’s one character whose personality probably could have been drawn out more clearly, so that the pivotal event he sets in motion would seem less arbitrary. But most of the plot elements are so well developed that any of them could become the focus.

And by the way...that pixie magic thing from the last issue? Turns out it was important after all.

Go figure.


Andrew Simchik


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