Incredible Doom Vol. 1

Writer / Artist
Incredible Doom Vol. 1
Incredible Doom Vol. 1 review
  • North American Publisher / ISBN: Harper Alley - 978-0-06-306493-5
  • Volume No.: 1
  • Release date: 2021
  • UPC: 9780063064935
  • Contains adult content?: yes
  • Does this pass the Bechdel test?: no
  • Positive minority portrayal?: yes
  • CATEGORIES: Period drama

We’re now so used to fingertip technology that even those who’ve lived through earlier times will need a nudge to recall when a phone was only a listening device fixed to a wall or sat on a table, and a computer occupied an entire room. Working from a story created with Jesse Holden, Matthew Bogart does remember. He remembers when the personal computer was mystifying, the Galaxy and iPhone didn’t exist, and when online was bulletin boards, and he brings it all back with Incredible Doom.

The starting point is 1994 and Allison, whose father is abusive. When he buys a computer he can’t be bothered learning how to operate it, but she does, and it puts her in touch with Samir, having lesser parental issues. Richard’s problem is different. He’s just starting at a new school, where he’s an obvious target for the hallway thugs, yet also an early adopter of bulletin board opportunities. While Allison and Samir connect relatively rapidly, Richard’s world is different and separate. However, he makes other connections.

Bogart stresses how in the early days computers were a form of outsider culture, very few recognising the greater possibilities, although there’s a fourth main character to whom it’s the opening of an entire new world of activities. The cast are strongly built and sympathetic, their bonds at first tentative, but their progression natural, if rarely straightforward.

Despite focusing on what was cutting edge technology for 1994, the strength is the sympathetic cast in a very human drama requiring strong emotions obviously seen. Bogart’s art conveys them. Because all the main characters have some form of trauma in their life he draws them behind emotionless masks much of the time, so when that changes it’s a strong moment. Bogart also incorporates the strange BBS text of the time, creating names from dashes and backslashes, and having panels of text running the connection information. He’s very precise, and works well with the palette of black, white and blue.

A fair amount of issues are covered, all sympathetically, and there’s compelling drama and tension throughout two separate strands of people finding themselves. There’s a Vol. 2, so the story doesn’t end here, but there’s more than enough to make this a great read.