As a visual piece, Barrier #1 is all kinds of awesome. Marcos Martin’s pacing is sublime; the comic is “widescreen”–or landscape–with Martin sometimes using the whole page, sometimes filling it with as many panels as possible, sometimes splitting a single “shot” into panels. The visual reading experience is sublime.
The script? Eh.
Barrier is from late 2015. It’s creator-owned, originally digital. So far, politically-speaking, it dates poorly. Though, frankly, some of those questionable characterizations were always going to be questionable.
The first issue is an introduction to the main characters, Liddy and Oscar. Liddy is a Texan rancher, ranching her daddy’s place no doubt because tropes, and she’s having problems with a drug gang. She thinks. It’s unclear.
Oscar is from Honduras. He’s sneaking into the States, onto Liddy’s land eventually, and his entire story is in Spanish. No translation. Its success is–like the comic–a showcase for Martin’s art.
The stuff with Liddy getting drunk and maybe hiring an ex-military type to “deal with” her problem? Not so successful.
Of course, given how the issue ends, it’s entirely possible nothing this issue is going to matter.
Writer, Brian K. Vaughan; artist, Marcos Martin; colorist, Muntsa Vicente; publisher, Panel Syndicate (2015) / Image Comics (2018).