No One's Rose #2 Review

by Nick Devonald on June 10, 2020

Writers: Zac Thompson & Emily Horn
Art: Alberto Alburquerque
Colours: Raúl Angulo
Letters: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou

The debut issue of No One’s Rose has the difficult task of introducing us to a futuristic Solar-Punk world overflowing with detail, along with the main characters, the plot, and the central conflict in the story. It was a lot to cram into one issue but with some deft handling, Zac Thompson & Emily Horn made it look easy. Now that the reader understands the world and basic plot it frees this second issue up to get stuck into the story. A storyline that, with its Solar-Punk themes, felt important and relevant when the debut issue released. The second issue feels even more relevant now with violence erupting amongst the civilians in the dome due to unrest around issues of inequality.

The world that Thompson & Horn have created is absolutely fantastic, there are so many little touches and details which are brilliant, and it explores issues which face us today, such as the natural world being viewed as a resource by humanity rather than something which humanity co-exists with. Another nice touch is, at this stage in the tale at least, things aren’t clear cut. Both sides in this conflict want to restore the world to the state it was before but have very different and conflicting beliefs on how this should be done. And this conflict has led both sides to enact some very questionable actions. And at the heart of the story, it’s about two siblings who have found themselves on different sides in this conflict.

One of the strengths of No One’s Rose has been how this densely packed world and story are drip-fed to the reader without any need for lengthy exposition. While it left the first issue feeling perhaps a little overwhelming with the amount of information there, some inferred, some little details in the art, by the time this second issue is read the world has been established and the little details help to fill in the world-building.

To bring such a fantastical world to life it takes a special kind of artist and that is exactly what we have from Alberto Alburquerque. From the biotech to the plant life flourishing everywhere, he brings this futuristic world to life and makes everything appear organic. The different levels within the dome are incredibly different and the art tells us as much, if not more, about this world than the writing does.

Raúl Angulo’s colours help to bring this eco-dense world to life with vibrant colours which show off this infusion of nature in society. There is a scene involving Seren which stands out in particular with incredible colours.

An already important and relevant comic thanks to recent events it feels even more so now. A futuristic Solar-Punk story filled with the kind of moral ambiguity that makes for fantastic reading and will leave the reader pondering the themes and concepts long after they’ve finished reading. A great artist and colourist bring the world in all it’s natural, complex, futuristic details. Highly recommended.

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