Warning: This review contains spoilers.
I picked up the first issue without really knowing much about it, and was really impressed by the story-telling and the vibrant art. The 4 issue limited series has developed well with the second issue, which introduced the character of Kessel, an outcast from the tribe’s safe haven of Maiden. Kessel joins the female protagonist of the series Maya as she continues her quest to find the mythical Athabasca and its reputed abundance of water.
The first part of issue #3 is told in flashback. We see Maya as a young girl being trained by Calista, the skills she will need to be a protector passed on by the older woman. We are then dramatically brought back to the present with the words of Calista ringing in Maya’s ears “…fight until your last breath.” By the look of the colossal that Maya and Kessel are battling against, they are going to need all the fight they have in them.
Maya defeats the colossal by using the water she is carrying. This raises more questions about water and its possible uses, and Maya is understandably worried about the scarcity of this life-giving resource.
Maya and Kessel continue their journey through the barren wastelands and finally arrive at Athabasca, where they discover a copse of fir trees flourishing against the lush, verdant ground at the bottom of the mountains. The astonishment of Maya is very real and her amazement at the grass growing out of the ground is quite touching.
They come across a cave in the mountain which is clearly occupied by somebody or something. They enter the cave and the issue ends with Maya proclaiming that she thinks they are not alone on the planet. This is confirmed by the last panel which reveals Kessel being held at knifepoint by several members of an unknown tribe.
Rossmo’s art and Owen Gieni’s colours are a key component of what makes Debris such a striking comic. The slashes of colour – the deep reds of the colossus, the bright yellow of Kessel’s clothes – +against the grey and brown landscape add an unexpected vibrancy and warmth to this desperate, broken world.
Issue #3 sets up the prospect of a thrilling conclusion to this well-written and beautifully illustrated and coloured limited series. I can’t wait to see how it ends.
Debris #3 is on sale September 26th 2012.