From time to time the tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of tyrants and patriots. Justice City Chronicles Vol. 1 is a futuristic superhero tale of war, corruption, and the bonds of family.
The story takes place in a galaxy different than our own and is centered around a race of elite warriors. The first volume gives you enough information to understand the background of the main characters, to understand the world they live in, and their customs to a certain extent. In the book, there is attention to detail in every frame.
Volume one begins in the heart of the Etoran Republic, Justice City. We find our hero, Nero a prideful young cadet who is on the precipice of graduating and becoming a member of the legendary Praetorians like his father before him. The Praetorians are an elite class of warriors tasked with keeping the peace throughout the realms.
Nero’s first mission as a Praetorian, to babysit a group of elite dignitaries on a routine diplomatic tour of the out-land regions quickly becomes a struggle of life and death when their Transport ship is attacked and shot down. What was once a routine mission now threatening to become the catalyst that will throw the world back into a bloody war and at the center of it all is the Praetorian’s newest recruit, Nero.
THE CREATIVE TEAM
The creative team of Justice City Chronicles Vol.1 consists of Marcus Digesu (story, letters, and layout), Anthony Figaro (pencils and design), Carlos Moreno (Colors), Dustin Evans (Colors Chapter II), James Erik Hodson (inks) and Jessy Heagy (Colors epilogue).
The first edition book has a softcover, square bound, and is printed on high-quality paper. Justice City Chronicles is a 98-page knockdown, drag-out, butt-kicking adrenaline ride that is rooted in the action-adventure cartoons of the 1980s.
The main story is told in 4 chapters on approximately 55 pages, along with a section about the history of Justice City Chronicles (18 pages), a 2-page character profiles section, a one-page cover illustration, and a 2-page Epilogue. Each section has a proper divider that indicates what’s coming next. The section on the history contains a gallery of pages with prints, character designs, and unpublished work that shows a chronologically accurate representation of a journey that started nearly two decades ago.
The art in the book is gorgeous but the attention given to the frames and the letters makes it even more enjoyable to read. The letters have the appropriate size which makes them easy to read. It also has a printed spine. The only thing that is missing is the page numbering but that is a personal preference. The book is published by Wolfpack Comics.
The 2-page intro before the main story was for me an effective attention catcher. You wonder what is happening and why.
Chapter 1 Intimidation Protocol
Chapter one starts with what seems to be a training session at Dekkard Academy in Etora. We are given a specific time and date. We meet Gunnar Fynn who is attending the training session along with a combat drone (android). His father and one Master Yoguma appear and inform him that he will participate in his brother’s rite of passage ceremony.
Chapter 2 Rite of Passage
Chapter 2 starts with an inner monologue of Gunnar’s brother. The rite of passage seems to be a graduation ceremony of sorts to obtain the title of Alpha Praetorian that takes place in the form of physical combat. The brother’s name is Nero, a serious guy full of pride. His opponents are his fellow friends at the academy and his older brother. They all seem to have superpowers. The ceremony is I think or him to officially join the military. By now we understand that Etora is an empire with a powerful military. At the moment, Etora is in a period of peace.
Chapter 3 Tactics of War
Chapter 3 starts at Castra Martis in Etora. The sun shines brightly but it is a somber day for its people as the emperor has suddenly died. Senators from across the empire have returned to the capital, eager to be part of the proceedings. Leaders of other great nations have also made their way to Castra Martis, eager to pay their respect to the man who had brought peace and stability to the realms. We learn that Gunnar and Nero’s father, Colton Fynn has been the headmaster of the Dekkard Academy for nearly two decades. He has a talk with his son about his past and that he should be careful of certain people.
Chapter 4 Centurion
In Chapter 4 we meet Nero’s team which we saw in the intro as they embark on their first mission which will be Nero’s first as a recent graduate. We also meet the bad guys of the story. It seems like the death of the emperor has ignited their desire for war. The chapter ends and you still want more. Something will happen that will cause the situation we saw in the intro which we know by now is Nero’s first mission. At this point, you want to understand more about this world and the characters which is given at the end of the story. In the character section, you learn more about the androids and their abilities and the bio of the main characters. You will also find a map of the world. By the end of the book, we get an epilogue showing what happened after the attack.
The story got my attention from the start. The world is intriguing, and the characters have their baggage. It was more than I expected. It shows that a lot of work has been invested in the world-building and the creation of the characters. Gunnar is very friendly and outgoing while Nero is very serious and intimidating. I thought based on the art of the campaign that he would be one of the bad guys in the story. So far that is not the case.
Further, I have to say that I like the detailed art and layouts in the book. It shows that proper time has been invested in creating something of quality. I like the consistency in the art and the color scheme that was maintained considering that there are several colorists as part of the creative team. The letters are very easy to read. Everything is clear and perfectly placed.
THE CROWDFUNDING CAMPAIGN
By the time I decided to back the Indiegogo crowdfunding project for the book in 2021, I chose the “Grunt Pack” tier with just the physical copy of the book with the praetorian standard edition cover. By this time, I received most of my crowdfunded campaigns for crowdfunding entertainment. This was one of the remaining projects that took time to be completed. By now many others have joined the long waiting list.
No problems with receiving the packages. Tracking information was provided by the project manager via email. I wish others would do the same as standard practice. The book came in a Gemini mailer along with stretch goals items from the campaign including four 3.5″ X 5.5″ trading cards with the characters Emperor Prey, 2 of Prince Kalos, Master Yoguma, a metal bookmark, four prints, and one Nero print with backers’ details.
The updates on the campaign were initially monthly then it changed to irregular. Frankly, I did not pay much attention to it but other backers did. It seems that the creators encountered some challenges. In those cases, my advice is to share what happened. The backers will understand eventually. The projects I have the best experience with are the ones that maintain a schedule to release updates on the campaigns on a regular basis (weekly, monthly, or quarterly) and keep it honest.
Justice City Chronicles Volume 1 is an entertaining and engaging sci-fi action adventure story. The quality of the print and the details of the art, layout, and lettering are outstanding, especially considering the amount that was crowdfunded for the project.
The action starts right at the beginning of the story, but it later dies down in later chapters. My one complaint is that it took longer to receive the book and it will probably take longer to know how the story continues. Hopefully, I’m wrong and we will get more soon. As of date, the Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign is still in demand so you can check it out. The books are made so there is no reason for you not to receive them soon.
My notes are all set. Let me know what you think.
See you on the next page!