Saturday, October 21, 2017

The Infinite Loop: Nothing but the Truth #2 Review


I've seen the Headset and the damage done, a little part of it in everyone

Written by: Pierrick Colinet and Elsa Charretier   
Art: Daniele Di Nucuolo
Colors: Sarah Stern
Letters: Ed Dukeshire
Publisher: IDW
Reviewer: Andrew McAvoy

I thought that the first issue of Nothing but the Truth, Colinet and Charretier's follow up to the Infinite Loop Volume 1, went deep. This second installment takes us further into Teddy's situation, with some neatly played allegories for real world issues. It's a book that is clever enough not to shove allegories down your throat; the book can be read on two levels, and both readings will be equally as effective. 

This installment opens with a scene of degradation as we see Caïn standing over an addict hooked on the virtual headsets (VRs) that allow people to escape their present hardship and replace it with a virtual present of their choosing. There's a price to pay and Doc is the figure who is hocking this addictive leisure pursuit and destroying lives in the process. His henchman Caïn also stands beside Teddy, held captive and tied to a chair. He is standing over her, but she tells him that heads are going to roll…

Then we flick back to a scene eight hours earlier where we see Stephen (assistant to Ron who is running a clinic for VR addiction) selling Teddy out to Doc (Ron's father), in return for Doc ceasing to interfere in Ron's Clinic. Teddy is a wanted woman and has a bounty on her head. This should lead to a win-win situation for everyone except Teddy, but one gets the feeling that Stephen is a fool, and like everything in the period Teddy now finds herself in, there will only be one winner, and that is Doc. We find out later in the issue that Doc wants control of an end to end process, he wants to supply the addicts with VRs, bring in money from selling the VRs and then own the clinics that addicts rehabilitate in. Any which way Doc wins. 

The inevitable then happens and, despite issuing an ass-whuppin' to her captors they are ultimately successful and bring Teddy in. Ron becomes despondent with the situation as Teddy goes missing and the general situation he finds himself in. The closing panels of the book show that he turns to the one thing to ease his despair that will put him on a dangerous path to misery.

The secondary story in the issue shows us Ano, or more formally Congresswoman Anderson,  repeatedly denying attempts to silence her by refusing to yield the floor in the US Capitol. She is exposing the plight of individuals exposed as anomalies and now subject to illegal Anomaly Control measures. The scenes come to a dramatic conclusion when she moves to deactivate the distortion filter window in the chamber to expose the true horror of the Arcadia Camp for Illegal Anomalies. It is horror and plight that has been disguised by a VR filter window to show the site as a business park with leafy green space, instead of the reality which is a shanty town for illegal anomalies. She exposes the reality and is promptly removed by the Congressional Sergeants at Arms.

Bits and Pieces

The writing increases the dramatic tension seen in the first issue and we are now dealt "all-in" on the circumstances facing the characters. Each character has been well developed in a short space of time, and we know all their roles on the chessboard - it is time for the game to commence in the remaining issues. The artwork from Di Nicuolo continues to be of a high calibre and although I missed Charretier's art in this series in the first issue, I do think this more modern style suits this story. Stern's color work also complements this. This is a strong series that reels you in from the off, with a complex story rendered simple and effective through good narrative structures. As addictive as one of the reality distorting headsets that feature so prominently in the story. I can't wait for the next outing. 


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