Published on August 12th, 2015 | by JCDoyle0
Arcadia #4 Review
Trouble in Arcadia, trouble out of Arcadia and what amounts to a prison breakout makes this an exciting issue of the sci-fi political drama from Alex Paknadel.
Leandro, leader in Arcadia, is manipulating everyone to get the Root Password for the digital world they live in. This will give him ultimate control over the environment and means that he can hold the ‘real’ world to ransom. But first he needs to break Corey, one of the original system designers and this is where the Garner’s come in. By holding them hostage and threatening the very existence of one, Leandro is able to guarantee Lee’s help. It becomes a game of wordplay and tricksie psychology which leads to Lee impersonating a Burning Angel in order to break Corey down.
Meanwhile The Meat are trying to break in and rescue the Garners. Coral and her new friends manage to steal some security IP addresses and infiltrate the Arcadia prison facility. Not everything goes smoothly because when does breaking into a high security prison ever go smoothly? The prison break proves to be something of a success but all a little but too late.
Leandro goes on the airwaves announcing to Arcadia and the World that he has the Root Password and the political tension in the world intensifies.
Add to this a medical experiment out of control and a mass of family drama and you’ll be surprised that there’s room in this single issue for everything you’ve just read. They are able to fit so much in because the layouts for this comic are designed for story telling not sensationalism. The action sequences are not over stated or allowed to run away with the page count. They are contained and honed and the narrative is enhanced by it all rather than taking a back seat while the action runs its course.
There is also a lot of exposition in this issue; a large number of scenes with two or three characters just talking but Eric Scott Pfeiffer constantly shifts the focal point on the panels so they aren’t static. It’s as if he is holding a camera and pointing it where you need to be looking, zooming in to highlight seemingly mundane actions but are very revealing of character or plot. The interaction between Trish and Leandro for example starts very business-like but becomes very intimate.
Arcadia continues to be an intriguing read pulling in elements of different genres to feed the political narrative. The story is fast paced but never feels rushed and the art work is suitably gritty. Breaking into computer simulations; trying to control the environment you live in; pitting ‘real’ world against ‘digital’ world; I think it’s safe to say if you were a fan of The Matrix movies you’ll be a big fan of Arcadia.
Publisher: Boom! Studios
Writer: Alex Paknadel
Artist: Eric Scott Pfeiffer