Police Detective Bennie Strikman has a connection with the Keeper Program that pulls him out of retirement. Why is the program so important, and who wants to destroy it? Find out in Lotus Land #1 from BOOM! Studios.
LOTUS LAND #1
Writer: Darcy Van Poelgeest
Artist: Caio Filipe
Colorist: Patricio Delpeche
Letterer: Nate Piekos of Blambot
Editor: Allyson Gronowitz
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: November 15, 2023
Previously in Lotus Land: The year is 2648 and the place is Vancouver. The mysterious Keeper Program is under attack from within, and its head wants to know why. To this end, retired Police Detective Bennie Strikman is called in to investigate.
ONE HAND ON THE KILL SWITCH
Lotus Land #1 opens in the rain in rural British Columbia. Bennie Strikman is outside with his son Ethan, bird-watching. He spots a warbler, the like of which he has not seen in years. It flutters away when a police vehicle flies in and lands nearby. By the time the two get back to their house, Detectives Lundi and Wickstrom have gone inside and helped themselves to coffee. They’re here to take Stickman back to the city. He tells them they are wasting their time. Then they tell him that someone tried to break in and shut down the Keeper Program.
That is enough that Strikman changes his mind. He decides to go back, at least so he can find out what is going on. He does not believe that anyone can shut down the Keeper Program. Or does he just not want to believe that it is possible?
Vancouver in 2648 is an ultra-modern city. Nestled in its heart is a glowing dome that covers Evermore, the home of the Keeper Program. Mr. Heister is in charge. We do not yet know what the Program encompasses, but Heister speaks of it in lofty terms of evolving, of changing what it means to be alive. Strikman wonders whether the person responsible is one of the normal people of the city, young, out of work, not “evolving” through this program. But Heister claims that the suspect, Marcus Atkinson, is not only a member of the Program but is also employed by Evermore. If he interferes with the program, he could end up killing himself. Heister reminds Strikman that he has a personal stake in the program, by which we infer he means Ethan. Strikman agrees to find Atkinson.
The big city is not an easy place to find a person who does not want to be found. Instead, he finds Tabby and meets her for coffee. She is still helping young people in the city. Strikman tells her he needs help – and Ethan needs his mother. They are interrupted by Lundi’s call that Atkinson is at Evermore with Heister.
Strikman goes to Evermore. Atkinson has Heister and reportedly has his hand on the switch. They’re almost ready to send in a tactical squad. Strikman asks for five minutes and heads inside. Now we learn that if the Keeper Program dies, it would also take out every major politician, union leader, oligarch, etc., as well as kids like Ethan.
Marcus stands at the switch with Heister’s head, still dripping blood, in one of his hands. He murmurs that “she” says this is okay. Strikman asks who he means but is tackled by Lundi just as the tactical squad arrives and shoots Atkinson.
MOODY AND GRIM
I love how the art of Lotus Land #1 works to communicate the mood of this future world. Seeing a man and his son out in nature, even on a rainy day, usually seems idyllic. But when we see it, the colors are muted and somber. The little bird looks lonely, even lost. It flies away through the clouds. It comes as no surprise that Strikman is suspicious of why the police have come here. Plainly, he lives here to get away from his previous life, to live with his son, and to reconnect with what vanishing nature there is.
It is interesting that the dark color palette extends to Evermore. Here in the heart of new evolution, of modernity, of futurism, the interior looks as dark and gloomy as the rain-soaked city beyond the windows. Dark shadows carve the facial planes of Heister and Strikman, making them look even more sinister and guarded respectively. The shadows continue to follow Strikman even into the coffee shop with Tabby. We don’t yet know how this world operates, but we know with certainty that it is dystopian.
BOTTOM LINE: WHAT IS THE KEEPER PROGRAM?
Lotus Land #1 pulls us into this bleak future world where we can’t help but sympathize with Strikman and then wonder how and why his son is connected to the Keeper Program.
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Lotus Land #1
Groundbreaking technology may come with earth-shattering consequences.