Despite the Blade Runner font on the cover and the future vibe, Absolution is—so far—just a future dystopia action comic. I’m hesitant even to call it sci-fi. The potential science behind the fiction is all general stuff: the protagonist, Nina, is an assassin on potential parole. Potential meaning if she gets a high enough score for killing bad guys during her live streams, she’ll get an acquittal.
If she fails, they’ll blow up her head because, you know, “Suicide Squad”’s old enough (and ubiquitous enough) to be trope fodder.
The issue’s just her latest hit, with some flashbacks and then commentary from the commentators. Nina narrates, which writer Peter Milligan relies heavily on to carry some of the story. Artist Mike Deodato Jr. draws one heck of a corporate future dystopia city, and the stylistic panel grids nicely juxtapose the action and exposition. But the issue’s very much setup, including lots of Nina’s backstory (for now, you’re not going to not reveal something about your assassin anti-hero in later issues), so Deodato could potentially shake up the style.
While streaming, shitty white men on the Internet comment on her not being attractive enough to them and complain about, you know, brown people existing. I wonder how these future stories are going to age in twenty years.
But it’s solid action. Having everyone be shitty to her helps make Nina sympathetic (though there’s some concern in how Milligan writes the female stream commentator, who throws out non-sequiturs about sexism because she’s all the way caricature).
Speaking of character and caricature… Deodato bases faces on real people. Gerard Depardieu plays the issue villain, and I think Woody Harrelson’s one of the stream commentators. It’s kind of fun. Also, it tracks Depardieu’s such a garbage guy.