Olivia Twist: Honor Among Thieves

Darin Strauss, Adam Dalva, and Emma Vieceli. Dark Horse/Berger, $19.99 trade paper (136p) ISBN 978-1-5067-0948-2
Strauss (Half a Life) and Dalva ambitiously adapt Dickens’s classic serial with a diverse, futurist aesthetic that lacks novelty and depth. London of 2050 is controlled by Provis, a robotics corporation which relies on the slave labor of human children to fuel its growth. After Olivia, an orphan styled rather like Rosie the Riveter as a teen girl in jaunty overalls, rebels against her overlords to protect a newcomer named Pip, she escapes and, with the help of the felonious Artful Dodger, joins a female-centered revolutionary cell called the Esthers. Vieceli (the Jem and the Holograms series) refreshingly attempts to update the original cast with more diverse characters (referencing several of Dickens’s other well-known protagonists), but Strauss and Dalva’s fleshing out of the crew is sketchy and uneven, including a token nonbinary character whose backstory consists only of nondescript abuse “by everyone.” Much of the plot is a standard MacGuffin hunt in which various players attempt to secure a locket which can only be opened with Olivia’s blood, confusingly paced with help from some extraordinarily plot-convenient seizures. For all its laudable themes of empowerment for the disenfranchised, Strauss and Dalva’s text is too by-the-numbers to make a lasting impression. (May)
Reviewed on : 04/18/2019
Release date: 05/14/2019
Genre: Comics
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