Cold Cut Distribution's Feature Spotlight #23 - April 1997

Axis Mundi

Publisher:	Amaze Ink (an imprint of Slave Labor Graphics)
Writer:	Ian Carney
Artist:	Garry Marshall
Cover Price:	$2.95
Frequency:	bi-monthly


In a near-future Britain where virtual reality has become virtually real, only the rich and powerful can afford to own their own "unreal estate": private little pockets of cyberspace carved out in their own image, where they can go to relax, to experiment, or to act out some of the less-presentable urges they may feel.

Button Smith is a typical teenage girl, rebellious and rude, living life day-to-day with a drab middle class family. Well, perhaps she's not all that typical; her epilepsy allows her to do something practically unheard of: she can gatecrash private unreal estates. Being fourteen, she naturally takes on a cyberspace psuedo-body and becomes the soon-to-be-famous virtual reality terrorist/hacker Axis Mundi. But with a growing reputation as the one terrorist no one can catch, Axis finds him/herself in some strange situations -- like finding that the young teen punks running around actually idolize Mundi to the point of stupefaction, or like meeting the guy (or is it a guy?) who practically invented unreal estate years ago. So what's a famous teenage girl virtual hacker terrorist to do?

Writing Review:

Bitingly written and full of British slang, Axis Mundi is not for the faint of heart. But those willing to persevere through the occasionally-heavy accent will find a brilliantly fast-paced deviant storyline with wonderful peeks at a cyberpunk near-future which is frighteningly recognizable in the seeds being sown today. Each issue so far has been chock full of plot, almost disdaining characterization entirely (but not quite) in favor of rushing us to fireball climaxes worthy of Milk & Cheese (Destroy! Destroy!). And it's hard to argue with a book that leaves you out of breath, teetering on the brink of... the next issue!

Art Review:

An energetic mixture of Paul Pope and Scott McCloud, with just a dash of Evan Dorkin thrown in; Garry's backgrounds are generally sparse but suitable, panel layout is inventive without being unreadable, and characters are well drawn and full of expression. With heavy inks and light on the details, it's well-done, eye-catching art.


Axis Mundi is highly recommended for readers of the wacky but equally vicious Ragmop, as well as readers of Paul Pope's THB. Fans of cyberpunk should also get a kick out of AM, as will readers of Evan Dorkin's more long-form stuff like Pirate Corps or some of his Instant Piano work. Fans who liked the esoteric weirdness of Grant Morrison's Doom Patrol or Invisibles may want to sample this gem, too, as might those who enjoy Marshal Law or Judge Dredd.

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