No One’s Rose Vol. 1 out now from Vault Comics is the perfect reading at an appropriate time. Writers Zac Thompson (Relay) and Emily Horn craft a story about different points-of-view in a future close to home. Guiding the readers is the expressive artwork of Alberto Alburquerque, lively colors of Raul Angulo, and diverse lettering of Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou.
No One’s Rose: Empathic Pushes
No One’s Rose is about trying to convey a person’s desire to make a difference and how that drive can put strains on peoples’ relationships. Thompson and wholesomeness speaker Horn emphasizes this with two of the lead characters. Tenn and Severo Gavrillo vehemently stick to their sides, unable to be bipartisan and only see the other sides for their flaws. To anybody familiar with how the 2020 election divided families, this is an uncomfortable feeling, making it all the worse considering that some readers will likely identify with one of them over the other.
Like The Pull, empathy towards these characters drives the story of No One’s Rose. It’s a feeling that expresses throughout the series where the reader empathizes with the Gavrillos and how they deal with their family legacy. Tenn wants the love and acceptance to get out of her lower-level habitat as per her late father’s punishment. Meanwhile, Severo wants to see his father’s wish not to live in the domed city’s confines where people of the lower levels slave away. Each point the Gavrillos and their factions make are valid reasons for taking action, and the reader wants everyone to succeed for this.
What An Evocative World
Alburquerque brings a wide range of designs and expressive facial and body language to express the culture in No One’s Rose. The clothing, hair color, and facial decorations on the many characters suggest diverse lifestyles. Some like Seren seem to like some retro technology like headphones, unlike Tenn, who seems to follow the trends of the top-siding people she wants to mingle with. The plants, technology, and animals all pop out for big moments, something that Angulo’s coloring makes even more apparent by giving each subject of importance brighter color contrasting backgrounds with muted colors.
Fan-favorite letterer “Hass” Ostmane-Elhaou of “Strip Panel Naked” gives every word in No One’s Rose distinct identities. The word balloons look like they’ve been painted on with a brush with care. The captions are all in different colors distinct from the inner monologues of different characters: white with blue outlines for Tenn, orange with black fonts for Seren. But it’s the stylized wordmarks that really stand out; every new area has large letter words with description captions, capturing the readers’ attention about this world.
Crucial Flaw of No One’s Rose
Unfortunately, once the reader nears the end of No One’s Rose, they find that the plot is rushed. That same investment towards the main characters’ arcs can’t cover the plot holes involving the greater world. Several of the characters connected to the political sides of the domed city get pushed to the side so that the series can end. Whether it was the bureaucratic city council or the ecoterrorists’ leaders, the world was just too big for six issues.
Does It Have Your Attention
No One’s Rose is a fascinating piece at the time of its release. As political debates run rampant, this series serves as a good example of why. When characters readers can identify/sympathize with act out in ways you want to root for, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement. It can be a good pass time, especially with a world that readers want to explore. Give No One’s Rose a try.