Comics: Calexit #3 - Reviewed

Now out from Black Mask Studios is the new comic Calexit #3, an unrelenting violent masterpiece that takes the timely political and social climate and imagines a dystopian world where California has seceded from the United States and is embroiled in a civil war. With intense and violent action, interesting characters and story, and outstanding visuals, this is a series that you absolutely must get your hands on.

A new fascist president is now on his second term running the United States and enacted an executive order that called for the immediate deportation of any immigrant that was not recognized as a U.S citizen. California declared itself a sanctuary state, leading to essentially a civil war between the U.S. government, California, and other sister cities along the Pacific Coast. There are various revolutionary groups waging a war against the president and his armed forces, along with Nazi militants that have been hired by the president to police the cities. The first two issues introduced us to three of the main characters; Zora Donato, a refugee and important resistance fighter who is being hunted down; Father Rossie, the man hunting Zora down for the President; and Jamil, a Los Angeles courier/smuggler delivering almost anything if the price is right. At the end of issue two, Zora and Jamil are stopped at a militia check point and a major part of Rossie's secret life is revealed to the readers.

Issue 3 sees Zora and Jamil trying to get out of their tense situation, with both of them having very different approaches to resolving the situation. Crowbar has now taken over the mantle of leader of the Bunkerville Militia, but only has three days to find Zora before getting tossed off of a roof. This dystopian tale can be frightening and depressing, due to the current situations occurring throughout the United States. It is not inconceivable that the events that take place in the book could actually happen somewhere down the line. Despite the sometimes somber tone and death toll that comes with a war, there is still a sense of hope and strength presented by the revolutionaries. Jamil also continues to lighten up the tone, as he is a jovial character that jokes around even in times of danger. You can't help but love these characters, regardless of whether they are good or bad. They all have their own personal beliefs and motivations and it's interesting to watch them try to work though this complicated and deadly situation.

The art and colors from Amancay Nahuelpan (Clandestino, Young Terrorists) are simply divine as usual. If you have not seen any of his previous work, you are really missing out. The books contain highly inventive panels and pages, with very detailed scenes and environments that will have you examining each page and panel. The characters look great and have bold body movements and facial gestures. It features heavily shaded black strokes mixed with thin lines and hatching, and a great deal of line work. The colors compliment the story and sometimes deviate from your standard expectations, featuring pink and orange buildings, and yellow and pink backgrounds behind the characters.

Matteo Pizzolo has crafted something truly special in Calexit that demands your attention, delivering a timely and thought-provoking story, interesting characters, a well built world, and outstanding visuals and colors from Nahuelpan. This is highly recommended, and I cannot wait to see what Pizzolo and Nahuelpan have in store for us next.