Story/Letters – Adem Kiamil / Art – Ton Lima / Colors – Derek Dow
The mood has shifted in Category Zero and all pretense has been thrown out the window. Sanaxus isn’t an entity hoping to benefit people by helping with the new found affliction affecting the population. They’re quite the opposite and issue four starts with an exposition revealing the truth that sits under the surface in both a figurative and literal sense. The story’s continuity is used well as our informative opening is given by our individual that closed out issue three having clearly been subjected to something terrible. It isn’t overly drawn out and touches on some lingering questions you may have had coming out of the last issue (such as how non “powered” folks would be able to be in control of those with them). Simple, but effective explanations are given that satisfy things enough to not get caught up on anything. The presentation of this narrative sets the tone for the issue and the further developments very well. Not only has the mood shifted, but this issue sees the story driven by the visuals and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
The narrative didn’t need to be overly drawn out with its explanation because the scenes depicted and body language shown do so much more in the way of getting the points across. The art work has been excellent from the get go but this issue seems to have been set up to really let it carry the weight. I think that’s a great choice here given what this issue holds. After doing the narrative work to bridge the first three issues the book lets the art do the heavy lifting in getting across the reality that this world has quickly fallen into. The scenes shown and information revealed about the treatment of the one percenters by Omega (the truth of Sanaxus) is displayed full on. Beyond that the entirety of the issue has heavy “acting” done by the facial expressions/body language of the characters and the environmental settings throughout this portion of the story. This isn’t to say that the script took the issue off by any means. There is an excellent scene where Sanaxus guards are “hosing off” a one percenter and both the art and dialogue are perfect examples of some of the problems with society that Category Zero has chosen to take head on. The scene highlights the danger of acting in fear and abusing positions of power. It brings forth class/race divide types of thinking and how people can be complicit by inaction.
Our motley crew of one percenters on the run continues their mad dash to safety as well. The city plays a dark and looming obstacle with just as many lurking dangers as potential hiding spots. Eyes and ears are everywhere. There are moments where the group feels as though they’re being hunted (which they are, in truth). There’s more going on though as the seemingly friendly help was left with an eyebrow raising panel. The last panel of the book also leaves the tension hanging as it ties in our one percenters and the truth of what they face. Issue four of Category Zero has done an excellent job of starting to turn over the story into the “meat and potatoes” of things while playing to its strengths.