Let’s file this series in the ever growing list of comics that escaped me on its initial run. But with Justin Jordan and Tyasetta’s Breaklands now almost through its 2nd Season on ComiXology Originals, this looks like a great time to take a look at the first Volume which will be available in TPB through DarkHorse Comics on March 2nd.

Breaklands, Vol. 1: The Chase

Jordan introduces us to a post-apocalyptic world where powered people have become the norm more than the exception. The story starts with the head of the 100 Eyes Empire, Rask. He is standing before a throng of his loyal followers. Rask is a huge individual built not unlike Thanos. Except he has white skin and wore an almost tribal or oriental looking armor. Among the crowd were some of the heroes of this tale, although we haven’t met them as of yet. Rask’s loyal Shattersword was there to keep guard over our helpless heroes. She was a giant of a woman with dark skin and who wore white armor. Her sword was equally as massive and made of red stone.

Rask points out Kasa Fain

Rask thanked those in the crowd, saying that they had done well. But another task was needed to be completed. He would finish that task as he entered the crowd. Each of his followers begged the noble Rask to select them for this endeavor. Which was pretty brave…or insane as it meant he would kill them, using his volunteers bones to create a great staff. That’s loyalty for you. As he stared into the crowd after his grisly ritual, he claimed that someone in the crowd wanted something he had. And that would be Kasa Fain. But who is Kasa Fain? Let’s go back in time to find out.

Back in Time

The 100 Eyes Empire is just one of the lands factions. It has been this way since the first “break.” The one thing that hasn’t changed is that different factions are in a constant battle for control. Because of this, our main heroine Kasa Fain and her brother Adam have always been kept sheltered away from the madness by their Mother. For as long as they could remember, it was only the three of them. At least until their Mother left. Now there’s only the two of them and Kasa has been left with one job. To protect Adam and to keep his abilities secret. She, on the other hand, appeared to have no special abilities. Which suited her just fine.

The Perils of Not Following Instructions

The only problem was that Adam resisted keeping his powers hidden. He was young, and bored. So when Kasa needed to go hunting for their food, she left Adam alone. He promised to stay put, but as with most young boys, making such a promise and keeping it is two different things. It wasn’t long before his powers were discovered and he was captured. Although this did not escape Kasa’s notice.

How, she did not know, but she felt Adam’s peril and raced to save him. Which was good because he had been picked up by the Rumblers and their leader Nitro Eddie. Master of the finger gun that caused explosions or whatever he wanted to happen…point, aim, Bang! I know kids of my generation would appreciate that gift. But for Kasa, it was a giant pain in the ass. Especially when he “shot” her off the side of a cliff.

Meeting Gargarin and Toy

Fortunately, she was able to save herself with her bow and arrows. Once she climbed back to the top, she met Gargarin. A large grey haired older man with the ability to speed himself up…but at a cost. Age has made using his skill not as easy as it used to be (I feel you, Gargarin). As Indiana Jones says, “It’s not the years, it’s the mileage.” Gargarin would counter that it IS the age. Regardless, he offers to help Kasa retrieve her brother. He knows where they have went. But they will need a ride.

That’s where Toy comes in. She is a boiler. Which means that she can produce pyrotechnics just by thinking about it. Her power is what drives her huge vehicle. At least the steam she can produce powers the vehicle. Toy was a tall, statuesque woman with a reddish colored Mohawk and not a small amount of attitude. Normally she would try to avoid any trouble. At least any she herself didn’t cause. But Toy has had run ins with the Rumblers, she owes Gargarin a favor, plus they took Kasa’s brother. So she agrees to assist them.

Introducing Ruth and Rask’s Shattersword

Along the way, they encounter another addition to their quest. A being known as Ruth. He is brown skinned, thickly muscled, with long blue hair and has the gift of not dying. Even when reduced to a skeleton, he reforms. In this case, he had the misfortune of running into the Shattersword of Rask. We met her briefly before. His Shattersword swings a giant stone sword called Kindness. But there is no kindness when she swings her sword. Ruth found that out. Regardless, after reforming, he agrees to join Toy, Gargarin, and Kasa on their quest to save Adam.

As they drive, Gargarin informs Kasa that he can detect Adam through his immense power. But the fact that he can detect him, means others can as well. More interested parties will be in pursuit of her brother. That includes Rask’s Shattersword. Which is bad news for Nitro Eddie as the Shattersword catches up to him and demands he turn Adam over to her. Eddie refuses and loses almost all his fellow Rumblers. And while Gargarin and his party caught up and Ruth battled with the Shattersword, Eddie was able to slip off with Adam. Soon, even the Shattersword vanished. While that seemed bad, Gargarin still knew where Adam was being taken: Tradetown.

TradeTown

Tradetown is where all things are sold for a price. People are no exception. However, the security at Tradetown is substantial and severe. Your intentions going in must be peaceful and honest. If not, there are consequences beside not being let in. This almost proved a problem for Eddie. He had honorable intentions…as far as selling an 8 year old boy can be honorable. But his sole surviving Rumbler did not. He was pissed at Eddie for leaving all of their buddies, their “family” behind to die. Eddie assured him that they would seek vengeance at some point in time. After they sold the kid. This appeased his buddy, until Eddie used his loaded finger to blow his head off. Dishonorable thoughts eliminated. OK?? They let Eddie and the captured Adam in.

The Battle for Adam

Soon Gargarin and posse also arrive at Tradetown. For some reason, the guards let them in with no questions asked. Although after they passed through, the guards question if they actually saw anything. They catch up to Eddie just as he started his sale of Adam. Beings of “Maker” like power, such as Adam are highly coveted. Ruth walks up to Eddie and demands he turns Adam over to them as does Gargarin, attempting to use his force like powers on Eddie. After a pause, Eddie breaks out laughing. Did they seriously think he would just hand Adam over to them? They are in Tradetown. The only way to obtain him is to buy him. If they attempt to harm Eddie or even think about it, the security would send them flying out of town, literally. Eddie believed himself safe. At least until Kasa put an arrow into his arm.

That shouldn’t have been possible. At least that is what Eddie thought. Kasa should have been flown out of there for such intentions. But nothing happened to her. The security could not even sense her, let alone her intentions. That made the volley of arrows she let fly hard to defend. They were not used to that. And it was apparent. Confusion reigned over them. Which allowed Ruth to grab Adam. Gargarin stepped on Eddie’s arm and explained that they were taking the boy. But when Gargarin turned his attention away for a moment, Eddie pulled the arrow from his arm and jabbed it into Gargarin’s leg. This allowed him to pull his finger gun and blast Ruth from behind. The irritating little jerk.

Feeling the Power of Adam

Adam, in his haste to get away noticed Kasa in danger. And soon, the arrival of the Shattersword. Adam didn’t like the Shattersword. At this moment, he didn’t much like anyone who wasn’t Kasa. And he let them know about it, forcefully. No one was immune to his power and it was overwhelming friend and foe alike. Kasa ran to Adam and told him to stop. She was there with him and he didn’t need to be afraid. Slowly, Adam released them from his attack. Kasa promised that no harm would come to him. She was there to protect him. Unfortunately, the Shattersword had other ideas. She told Kasa she could not let Adam go as she raised her stone sword Kindness and brought it down. And watched the sword shatter as it came close to Kasa. Probably no one was more surprised than Kasa, except maybe the Shattersword. But she soon realized that Adam wasn’t her only target now. Her lord Rask would want them both.

Kasa’s Ability Revealed

Ruth intervened and once again battled the Shattersword. As Gargarin and Ruth engaged, he told Toy, Kasa and Adam to get to Toy’s vehicle and leave. Not only did they have the Shattersword to deal with but the guards were starting to get themselves together. They scrambled to their escape vehicle and after Ruth and Gargarin caught up, they broke through the wall and escaped. After they drove away, Gargarin explained what happened and what Kasa’s gift was. She was a NULL. She had the power to negate anyone else’s powers. That is why the guards could not sense her and why the Shattersword’s sword broke. Kasa’s ability was even more valuable than Adam’s. Together, they would attract a lot of attention. More people than Rask would come looking for them. Because of that, they needed to keep moving.

Thoughts

First off, writer Justin Jordan set before himself a daunting task. Any story that involves a large cast of characters in a limited series provides certain obstacles. The main one being you somehow have to introduce the various characters in a short span of time. This makes it a challenge to get the reader to have an emotional attachment to these characters. With that in consideration, Jordan did an admirable job. Of course, it helps that the characters themselves are interesting and diverse collection of individuals.

My personal favorite was Gargarin. Of course, I can always relate to the older man who makes it a point to remind anyone who will listen that he is old. He even speaks like me. When he is asked if he has a plan, he reply’s that he does. When asked if it’s a GOOD plan, he responds: “I wouldn’t go THAT far.”

Throughout this first volume, Jordan weaves a tale replete with evil despots, blind followers, courageous and powerful women, and heroes and adversaries who have issues that they must overcome. This makes for a tale that is approachable while still exploring the adventure and fantasy genre that so many fans love. Myself included. So well done, Justin.

Artist Tyasetta

With so much story to unpack, it needed an artist who was well versed in that kind of narrative and someone who has a reputation for great work. Enter renown artist Tyasetta. The work here is unique, energetic with an almost anime quality that works well for the book. He explores different angles and perspectives that pushes the action along. That has continued into the 2nd season so I recommend checking that out as it nears it conclusion on ComiXology Originals.

Breaklands Volume 1 is  available as a trade paperback from Dark Horse Comics, the legendary comic book publisher of titles including Black Hammer, Hellboy, Sin City and The Umbrella Academy, for customers in bookstores (including Amazon and Barnes & Noble), and libraries on March 2nd.   It will be available in Comic Shops on March 3rd. Breaklands Season 2 is currently being released digitally from comiXology Originals.

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