Graphic novel “The Reconcilers” delivers a story that is unique in delivery but difficult to keep up with due to its complex details and facts.
The creators of the novel are a team of comic-book veterans that include writer Erik Jensen, Neal Adams, and artist Shepherd Hendrix.
Set in the year 2165, “The Reconcilers” offers readers a futuristic view of the world and the dark age that results from corporate takeovers. An anarchist’s paradise, the society described in the graphic novel is one free of government rule and solely controlled by major corporations.
Civil warfare is the top source of entertainment as the corporations flex their muscles and reinforce their power of intimidation through televised armed combat. This televised warfare is the corporate society’s way of settling disputes, also called reconciliation, and has become a common sporting event equivalent to a football game or wrestling match. The only difference is that the losers of the matches forfeit their lives.
Sean Hexhammer, the novel’s reluctant hero, is a middle-class employee of a small mining company located on the moon that produces Liberty Ore, the only source of energy left. Haunted by his past, Hexhammer prefers a life of solitude and quiet confinement. This tranquility is a vast difference from his violent past that eventually resulted in the loss of his wife.
Hexhammer becomes a target for top corporation Sokor Industries when he hits the jackpot and discovers an enormous amount of Liberty Ore. Hexhammer’s discovery catapults him back into the brutality and violence of his past.
Sokor’s CEO, Max Sokor, sets his eye on the lowly miner and his employer and uses force and intimidation to gain the mine’s rights to the find, but is met with opposition.
This rebellious move places Hexhammer and his colleagues into the deadly game of “reconciliation,” where their dispute is brought to the battleground courtroom. The final victor is the party that remains alive.
The novel’s storyline is difficult to follow partly due to the dialogue used and partly due to the completely new society introduced to the reader. The plot includes multiple character flashbacks, dream sequences, and view screens that can throw off the reader and distract them from the original story.
Despite the slightly complicated storyline, the plot is a diverse and imaginative effort on the part of Jensen and Jens Pilegaard. The two writers have conquered various aspects of the entertainment industry including film, television, theater and, now, comic books.
The novel’s protagonist and hero is a comic lover’s dream, encapsulating the combination of angst and fearlessness that comprise a successful superhero.
Another winning feature the novel contains is its colorful and detailed art work. The design team outdid itself in clearly defining each character and their personalities. The novel’s futuristic backdrop is also magnificently depicted with intricate colors and details that make the conceptualizing of this futuristic life a little bit easier for the reader.
All in all, “The Reconcilers” is the classic tale of good versus evil complete with a protagonist readers can sympathize with. Although a bit shaky in plot execution, the novel delivers dynamic artwork and design that take audiences on an exciting and futuristic ride.