cover image Arca


Van Jensen and Jesse Lonergan. IDW, $16.99 (176p) ISBN 978-1-68405-998-0

Jensen (The Flash series) and Lonergan (Ghosts of Science Past) craft an immersive futuristic setting for this sharp, socially canny sci-fi thriller. Teenage Effie (short for Persephone) has grown up on the Arca, a space ark containing the last survivors of humanity. Young people, dubbed Settlers, serve the older Citizens who run the ship while preparing for the future colonization of a planet. Disobedience and questioning are strictly punished, and Effie has to hide that she’s learned the forbidden art of reading. As she begins to doubt the teachings of her elders, she becomes the center of an uprising against the Arca’s stratified hierarchy. Meanwhile, flashbacks reveal the machinations behind the Citizens’ supposedly noble project to save humanity. Lonergan’s fluid art and warm colors breathe life into the high-tech Arca and its many environments, from the Citizens’ artificial-sun-drenched vineyards and tennis courts to the Settlers’ crowded dorms and the dank jungle of pipes in the sanitation area. The plot moves quickly through twists and turns, building to a climax of all-out rebellion. Fans of smart dystopian storytelling will want to get on board. Agent: Lucy Cleland, Kneerim & Williams. (July)