"CCTVYLLE #0 - #2" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Written by Diego Blanda
Illustrated by Salvatore Porcaro
Colored by Deborah Allow with Gianluca Bonomo
With the advancement in certain technology, we’re inching ever closer to a dystopian world like something out of Terminator. It’s only a matter of time before robots control everyone, right? Maybe it will be peaceful and easy like Wall-E, but more likely it will be terrifying. That’s where CCTVYLLE sits. The comic presents a version of London where everyone is under constant surveillance by disturbing birds with cameras for heads.
The image of these hybrid creatures is a real stand out in CCTVYLLE. It is a frightening image from artist Salvatore Porcaro. It instantly establishes the inhumane and soulless perspective of the government watching everyone in the city. These unholy creations don’t make any noises and they certainly don’t tweet or chirp. They just silently stare at everyone around, flocking to the action to capture every last piece of it for posterity.
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Leading a resistance of sorts within CCTVYLLE is Sean, a mysterious hoodie-clad man with an ax to grind. Sean is never given a last name and he’s known to the government, which makes for some unintentionally humorous moments. The big wigs watching the monitors catch a glimpse of him and shout that they’ll finally get their hands on Sean. It’s clearly said in a super villain voice, like how the Green Goblin would yell at Spider-Man, but the strength is taken out of it because his name is just Sean. Sorry to all the Seans out there, but Spider-Man you are not.
While CCTVYLLE presents a depressing view of a possible future, I don’t fully understand why any of it is happening. Why did the government do this? Why does Sean hate them so much? How does his hoodie prevent them from tracking him? There’s a lot of mystery, which is a good thing, however there are a few too many questions around the motives of the characters.
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We get some insight into Sean’s past in issue #1, as it’s split between scenes from the past and the present. This is a little jarring, as there is no clear differentiator between the two time periods, so it takes a few extra seconds to adjust to each one. If the coloring was changed or if a small caption box like “Now” and “Then” were added, it would have helped greatly in this regard.
As it stands, the characters fill certain stereotypes. You’ve got a ruthless evil government man and a mysterious rebel loner. They act like you’d think they would. Just when we’re starting to figure this out, issue #2 introduces a brand new character with ties to both sides. This is disrupts the flow of the series because we’re barely invested in Sean and his supporting cast and suddenly we have to learn about this woman barging into the mix with a whole new agenda.
There’s definitely something here in CCTVYLLE. It’s ominous as hell and made all the more chilling by how close to reality it is. I don’t know how to pronounce the title. I see how it’s a pun on closed circuit television so I see where the creators were going. I’m not quite emotionally invested in the characters or their actions just yet, but there’s enough here to provide an interesting and thought-provoking story.