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Concrete Park Vol. 1: You Send Me

Tony Puryear (Writer, Illustrator)

Dark Horse Comics (Publisher)

> Review by KEVIN THOMAS JR.

My grievance with Concrete Park is its brevity. At a mere 64 pages, we’re given very little to connect with. Sure, comic books are stories told over time, but the first trade paperback of a series should have encompassed more in order to capture interest. We inherit a planet with rules, laws, factions, hierarchy, history—all of which hold weight in the characters’ lives. You’re left hoping the next page explains any of that. We’re only given glimpses: shape shifters, prison planets, resource mining, gangs, futuristic cyborgs, and ghosts. Prisoners are barcoded, shipped, put to work. Some make it off; some are returning. What’s clear is that criminals run the planet. Periodically, there are word bubbles suggesting you visit their website to further immerse yourself in the world of Concrete Park (including a few more issues into the collection could have done that). Although there truly isn’t enough here to care (or not care) about, there is definite potential. The art is fresh. The theme of a self-destructive dystopia seeking its redemption is always fascinating. I want to be into the story, but how can I be? As soon as our hero crash-lands onto the prison planet and meets the girl of his premonitions, it ends!

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