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Election years always have some representation in comics, one of the most famous examples is Barack Obama being featured in Amazing Spider-Man. Campaigners tries to capture the absurdity in modern politics through the scope of a potential future of 2076. Writer Brendan Hykes re-imagines debates as a no-holds-barred, brutal death-match, with the president being little more than a puppet, controlled by corporations. Not a terribly far cry from the current state of politics, to be honest.
The art from MJ Barros is stylish and cartoony, but feels perfect for the series. Despite being cartoony, the art feels real for the story, capturing the animated adolescence of the high school main characters. Campaigners‘ plot revolves around two high school friends, Kydra and Bianca, respectively a female and a trans female (going from male to female) and their protestations against the election process. The writing of characters is great, it feels like the reader is jumping into an already moving world.
One thing the series misses out on is world building. There’s a sense that social issues took a massive step backwards, with Bianca being bullied at school and a teacher doing absolutely nothing as it happens in front of him. Patrolling Police on the last page of issue one also take time to berate and insult Bianca, almost for no reason. Despite the great characterizations, the world doesn’t feel as fleshed out. The issues themselves have no explanation for how the presidential debates devolved to a fisticuffs match, I had to read supplemental material to find that out. That supplemental material felt like it should have been in the normal issues, if only to see the death-match debates more fleshed out. Issues one and two are out currently, with three more on the way.
Campaigners is well written and has great artwork, but has problems establishing some world building elements. It earns a solid 6.5 out of 10.