Tuesday, March 31, 2009

'REBEL' by Pepe Moreno (graphic novel)

‘Rebel’ (1986; 70 pp) is a graphic novel by the Spanish artist Pepe Moreno. According to his Wiki entry, Moreno produced a number of well-received graphic novels and comics, including 1990’s ‘Batman: Digital Justice’.

‘Rebel’ takes place in 2002, after a global calamity has reduced New York City to a lawless wasteland inhabited by various ethnic street gangs who war with one another over the dwindling supplies scattered about the abandoned stores and tenements. The surviving city government has retreated to ‘Cosmo City’, a high-tech, quasi-fascist enclave run by the ruthless Kane, with the assistance of his sadistic henchman, Kessler. The Cosmo City crew periodically intervenes in the gang wars for its own purposes, usually by loosing the well-armed Sanitation Police to enforce the ‘New York City Social Hygiene Act’.

Rebel, the hero of the story, naturally enough leads the Rebels, a Brooklyn-based gang. When a Rebel raiding party sparks a violent battle with the Black Knights gang, it draws the attention of Kane and the Cosmo City overlords. It appears Rebel has something of a past with these overseers, and plans are immediately set in motion to wipe out Rebel... and all of his Rebels.

‘Rebel’ is a great read, and a great example of 80s sci-fi culture. The setting and story owe much to the 1979 box office smash ‘The Warriors’, and John Carpenter’s very influential 1981 film ‘Escape From New York’. Rebel is modeled on the punk singer and star Billy Idol, and the Skinheads gang that proves to be Rebel’s major adversary have definitive 80’s punk / new wave style in dress and appearance.
Moreno’s art is very good, relying on a wide palette of colors without coming across as too ‘cartoony’. 

I’ve uploaded some scans of a few pages.

‘Rebel’ is well worth searching out at used book stores or online.


Lisa said...

btw, did you hear Mr. Moreno will be re-releasing Rebel this summer. Some new art, expanded format, etc. Can't wait to see it!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the scans, very cool to see this one again. It was published in instalments in Heavy Metal magazine around 1985 and I pored over it as a kid.

Anonymous said...

WTC bit's a little coincidental..