Review by Frank Plowright
As originally seen, Teddy was an agent charged with ensuring time remained fixed and constant in the face of a group able to access the past and intent on revising it. As shown in The Infinite Loop, the situation was more complicated than Teddy first realised, and she baulked when it came to having to kill what were essentially human “anomalies” resulting from the alterations. Pierrick Colinet’s original story was complex, ambitious, with plenty to say about humanity’s attitudes and the world we actually occupy. As that’s a subject with no end, there’s always going to be more to say, so welcome to Nothing but the Truth.
Teddy solved one problem, as anomalies are no longer executed, but several years on from her intervention much has changed. Ano, the primary supporting character last time round, and the person for whom Teddy risked everything, has moved on. She’s now a congresswoman fighting for the rights of anomalies, who may no longer live under an automatic death sentence, but most are confined to squalid refugee camps. Colinet has plenty to say about them, but his first port of call is a town where all the jobs have been whisked away, leaving an unemployed and now poor population waiting to be hooked on something. He addresses that in a novel science fiction way, the drug being VR headsets providing a daily 24 hours of individually tailored fictional reality.
Beyond the title, Teddy and Amo, much is different about this outing. Instead of jumping rapidly from place to place, we’re largely confined to the present day world of 2107 and the place in the past Teddy visits. Elsa Charretier, who drew the first outing so well leaves the art to Daniele Di Nicuolo and becomes co-plotter for a far more straightforward story. As good as Charretier was on the art, a different type of story isn’t hurt by the change, with Di Nicuolo’s cartooning providing the necessary emotional impact, if less concerned with background detail. However, when Charretier draws the epilogue the difference is noticeable.
For all the commentary, this isn’t as satisfying as the first outing. There’s a clever way of joining what seem two very different plot threads, but it requires some marking time for Teddy, when a better idea might have been to exploit the VR technology more imaginatively. Ano’s plot makes the points, but the dots never join. Is she really that isolated and powerless? No elected representative should be. Nothing but the Truth isn’t a poor story, just one that never matches what came before.