The opening scene of Silvertongue 30xx: Space-Time District Attorney caught our eye and drew us into this book. The coin falling, flipping end over end from heads to tails, in a dramatic beam of light, with short voiceovers: what a visually dramatic way to bring us in and set up the story! In the scenes that follow, creator Nando Sarmiento delivers on the expectation for visually striking settings.
The opening scenes make it clear this digital manga will address political and cultural conflicts in its two-part story, The Chippewa Vendetta. Silvertongue Hernandez and all his supporting characters have a unique perspective on the central conflict: industrial construction and waste disposal in tribal lands. Each scene explores what they personally have at stake, and this really puts the meat on the bones of the main courtroom drama. We expected more of a straight detective story, but found ourselves drawn into a story you don’t usually see in comic books.
As with many first issues, it can feel like we need to do a lot of catching up to understand the main scenes. Background exposition takes the form of a news broadcast which reinforces the court case as a spectacle, a form of entertainment. The case takes place in a gigantic court-on-wheels whose laws change as it crosses state lines. This puts pressure on the case and keeps the dramatic tension at a feverish pitch.
The first issue promises an episodic manga with entertaining, dramatic artwork and character-driven scenes. We look forward to seeing how this story continues, and what other thought-provoking scenarios Nando can invent for his space-time district attorney.
View more interior artwork and a short video about Silvertongue 30xx: Space-time District Attorney at Little Nando’s website, where you can purchase the book in several digital formats.