Current Reviews


A’Pertua: A World At War #1

Posted: Monday, February 6, 2006
By: Kevin Noel Olson

Writer and Artist: Debi Hammack

Publisher: Hammack
Price: $2.00 USD

A’Pertua is a two-mooned planet with idyllic villages of elves, winged fairies, satyre-horned children, and monkey-tailed teenagers. Idyllic, until the humans arrive in spaceships with weapons to clear out the indigenous population rather than befriending them. A’Pertua is suddenly torn asunder by raids from the human soldiers using lazer rifles and tanks to cut a swath of destruction through the villages, leaving the dead bodies and broken spirits of A’Pertua’s natives. After the initial devastation, the sweepers come through with machines to destroy the structures and anything remaining.

Early in the story, a fairy girl is introduced having fun flying through the lush forest. Later, we meet this character again after the humans have destroyed her village, murdered her family, and despoiled her innocence. In a very few panels, Debi has managed to make us feel for this character and grieve with her in the destruction of everything she holds dear. A group arrives from a nearby village to evacuate the few survivors. The group includes a satyr and his son, a female elf, a young human boy, and his monkey-tailed friend. They rush to evacuate the village before the sweepers arrive, but their time is extremely limited.

Ms. Hammack’s art is quite expressive, alternately displaying extreme beauty when possible and extreme violence when necessary. The story is engaging and art-driven. At moments, it feels convoluted, although this adds to the story in conveying the confusion of a battle, its aftermath, and its imminent continuation.

Although it’s not extremely lengthy, the book leaves the reader satisfied with what’s been read and wanting to hear more. For a first-time book, A’Pertua is quite a complete and promising work, with great artwork and appealing storytelling. It would be no surprise if we hear more from Ms. Hammack in the future.

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