Cryptocracy #1

by Ian B on June 29, 2016

Written by: Van Jensen

Art by: Pete Woods

Lettered by: Nate Piekos



The premise of Cryptocracy is nothing new. It essentially proposes two ideas: every rumour, weird event, or mysterious monster throughout history is actually real to some extent, and the world is being controlled by several extremely powerful families who operate in secret, controlling through a vast network of layered agents, each one not knowing about the next layer up. The interesting thing about Cryptocracy, however, is the point of view. Normally in stories like this, we are shown the scrappy survivor, out to expose the corrupt leaders to the masses, but here we focus far more closely on the members of these families themselves, and that is how I think Cryptocracy will find a foot hold with some people.



We follow Grahame, a senior in the organization, as he attempts to cover up a mistake by one of his underlings which resulted in a massive explosion, rather than a small explosion that would simply have prevented a group of scientists from discovering a super weapon. Through this cover-up, we are introduced to many of the different layers of the organization. The bottom layers being coerced, with upper levels being ancient families and even cryptids such as bugbears and greys. We are eventually introduced to what will likely be the overarching plot for the series; someone is killing off the leaders of the different sections of the organization, and it's someone who isn't a member of the families, something that should be impossible due to the secrecy involved with the organization.



The art I really enjoyed. It's stylized in a similar way to Invincible, with prominent noses and chins, and the designs of the cryptids are fairly simple and elegant. Many of the pages seem to have colour themes that shift between group and location, doing a good job of segmenting what is happening in each location and between what characters. There seems to be some reasoning behind the colours (anything dealing with the leaders of the family seems to have the theme of red) although I'm not sure if this is an intentional detail that adds a further level of intrigue to this book, or just happenstance. Future issues will be able to provide definitive evidence.



Ultimately I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would. It does a great job of setting up the premise, shows you what the future conflicts are likely to be, and introduces you to several interesting characters. One of the most important things that this book does, in my opinion, is that it portrays the “evil families running the world” as something more than just moustache twirling villains. It is still unclear exactly what their motives are, but clearly these people aren't pure evil as these types of organizations are normally portrayed. They prevent the possible destruction of the world, and they regret unnecessary loss of life. The implication is that they are evil for the greater good, and it will be interesting to see how future issues play with this idea and further humanize them while also humanizing those fighting against them. A fairly solid start, and I'm interested to see where it goes from here.

Our Score:


A Look Inside