cover image World Piece, Vol. 1

World Piece, Vol. 1

Josh Tierney and Agroshka. Viz, $16.99 trade paper (224p) ISBN 978-1-974719-40-2

Eisner-nominated writer Tierney (Spera) and artist Agroshka, the duo behind the webcomic Warm Blood, again team up, this time for a dynamic manga-inspired, basketball-infused space opera. Sixteen-year-old Lucas Densen’s world literally gets smaller when he touches a mysterious artifact that causes Earth to shrink to the size of a basketball. Stuck in a void called The Black Gateway, he is discovered by Lully, a wealthy citizen of planet Affin. Determined to restore his home planet to its original size, Lucas heads out with Lully from the Gateway through Affin in search of answers, and along the way they are joined by a soldier, Mitton, who is on his own personal quest. The group uncover a black market scheme and the kidnapping of the scientist most likely to recover Earth—and catch the eye of the planet-eating Damas and his henchmen. Initially slow, the pace begins to pick up as the characters and worldbuilding are fleshed out. The polished art gives typical Western webcomic fare a 1990s shonen anime twist, reminiscent of Digimon and Dragon Ball. There’s promise in this simple start to a lessons-in-friendship-themed sci-fi series (and it has clear YA crossover), though readers will hope to see more depth in future installments. [em](June) [/em]