No One's Rose #4 Review

by Nick Devonald on August 18, 2020

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

Zac Thompson & Emily Horn billed this series as Solar-Punk, a more hopeful post-apocalyptic world where humanity lives in harmony with nature as opposed to thinking itself above it. While we’ve seen this to a certain extent within the Dome it’s not until this issue where they really begin to explore what living in harmony with nature really means.

** Here at CTG we pride ourselves on avoiding spoilers (after all, is there anything worse than reading a review which gives away all the key plot points?) which means this review is going to vaguer than usual, as to go into any specifics would be crossing over into spoiler territory. **

It’s been clear the hierarchy within the Green Zone isn’t working, there is a division between the different levels of the dome, never mind between humanity and nature. The Drasil want to close that divide, but their methods are questionable at best, and they are crossing into terrorist territory in their effort to level the playing field. There’s been a lot of food for thought throughout this series, but this issue takes it a whole step further. By letting the reader get a proper look at how a society living in equilibrium with nature would work it highlights the ways that the dome isn’t working. And that’s without even touching on all the other storylines which are going on. Each issue of No One’s Rose has felt densely packed but this issue feels like it’s filled to the brim with story. Which is no bad thing, far too often comics, with only twenty odd pages in, feel short and sweet. There’s no doubt that readers get their monies worth with No One’s Rose, which has so much story packed in.

While it’s apparent that both Thompson and Horn have strong feelings about the environment, nature, and how humanities relationship with nature needs work it never feels like they're preaching to the reader. It’s well handled and they have a clear show don’t tell philosophy going on. They lay all the evidence out in front of the reader but it’s entirely up to the reader how much they take away from the story. Some readers will take this comic on face value as a riveting exploration of a completely different post apocalyptic story than we’re used to. Other readers will take away some much deeper themes.

To tell a story of this magnitude needs the right artist to bring it all to life, which is exactly what we have with Alberto Alburquerque. He manages to reimagine the typical post apocalyptic story and bring to life a story where humanities very fate relies on nurturing nature. He depicts different hierarchies and societies managing this in different ways, giving each aspect of the storytelling it’s own unique character. The level of detail and little touches in the background is astonishing. And then of course there is the ongoing stories of political unrest against this futuristic backdrop. All really well handled.

Raὐl Angulo’s colours are the final touch to bringing this world to life. His colours for the outside world contrast nicely with the thriving nature within the Dome. It makes sense that a world which is as reliant on nature as this one would also be filled with bright colours and that’s exactly what we get here.

Another densely packed issue which asks questions that the reader will be sure to ponder long after they’ve put the comic down. It’s a very unique take on the typical post-apocalyptic story that comic readers get. On one level it’s a cracking adventure filled with political unrest, on another it has important themes delving into the importance of living in harmony with nature. Alburquerque manages to bring this world to life so well it could conceivably be a possible fate for humanity in their far future.

Our Score:


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