Posted in: Comics, Comics Publishers, Image, Review | Tagged: , , ,

New Masters #1 Review: A Grand Tapestry

With a very unique take on the kind of uber-colonialist state you might have seen in District 9, New Masters #1 scrabbles together a host of science fiction tones and ideas in an almost hip hop fashion into a deeply developed new thing. Come for the dystopia; stay for the well-considered societal ramifications.

New Masters #1 Review: A Grand Tapestry
New Masters #1 Cover. Credit: Image Comics

In a similar fashion to how we met Palpatine's granddaughter, we meet Ola scavenging the wrecks of gigantic fallen spaceships for usable tech and the rare element obsidium — "the only thing that gives Earth any leverage in the system." She is a young woman with a cybernetic arm that's less Misty Knight and more Doctor Aphra. We follow her through adventure and mishap, getting a great view of the Earth she lives on, more than a thousand years after extraterrestrials made planetfall.

On the other end of the economic spectrum, we meet Governor Ojumah, a newly elected figurehead saddled with squabbling and corrupt stakeholders. She has an alien spy as a lover and confidant, and they handle a lot of exposition dumping that gives what you saw before great depth. In between, we meet Mr. and Mrs. Reis, slick hustlers peddling an easier way for downtrodden commoners to eke out a living. Through it all, the Shobo Coker script delivers a mountain of important info, said and implied, offering deft and subtle parallels of the current post-colonial state in much of the world. The visuals from Shof Coker, Julmae Kristoffer, and Hye Mardikian make you feel like you could step right into these bustling streets.

The only concern is this embarrassment of riches. Will we follow the scrappy tale of a teen hustler, or the Leverage gone wrong vibes of the Reis couple, or ascend to the halls of power? This book leaves it all on the field but can't focus on any one direction in doing so. In an ensemble movie like Magnolia or Crash, eventually, the threads come close, but there's not enough room for that to happen in what's basically a pilot episode.

Still, there is a lot of ambition and creativity on display here. This is clearly the work of people laying out a grand tapestry, perhaps trying to make too much happen in the periodical format. RATING: HONORABLE MENTION.

New Masters #1
By Shobo Coker, Shof Coker
Nigerian brothers SHOBO and SHOF present NEW MASTERS, a groundbreaking blend of science fiction, adventure, drama, and vibrant Afrofuturism. In a striking vision of West Africa under the thumb of alien colonizers, a motley crew of outcasts find themselves caught up in a power struggle for control of an ancient artifact with immense power.

New Masters #1

New Masters #1 Review: A Grand Tapestry
Review by Hannibal Tabu

A brilliant new depiction of an uncertain future is less like a crystal ball and more like a mirror, elegantly bending the light to show us a new perspective.

Enjoyed this? Please share on social media!

Stay up-to-date and support the site by following Bleeding Cool on Google News today!

Hannibal TabuAbout Hannibal Tabu

Hannibal Tabu is a writer, journalist, DJ, poet and designer living in south Los Angeles with his wife and children. He's a winner of the 2012 Top Cow Talent Hunt, winner of the 2018-2019 Cultural Trailblazer award from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, his weekly comic book review column THE BUY PILE can be found on iHeartRadio's Nerd-O-Rama podcast, his reviews can be found on, his mix show can be found on Los Angeles' KQBH-LP 101.5 FM or in your browser Sunday nights at 11PM PST, and more information can be found at his website,
Comments will load 20 seconds after page. Click here to load them now.