Pullbox Reviews: Overrun- Users protect us…

Created by Andi Ewington
Written by Andi Ewington & Matt Woodley
Art by Paul Green
Covers by Kinetic Underground & Cosmo White

Check out the awesome video trailer here!

Cooper is a spam file on the run… With no memory of who he is, and nothing but the overwhelming urge to get to the city, he evades the Spam Police and makes it past the filters. Once there, all he can do is wander until some clue as to his identity presents itself. Hot on Cooper’s heels are the dynamic duo of Norton and McAfee, two tough cops walking a tough beat, determined to keep their city safe and secure.

Meanwhile, at CPU Central, MacIntosh prepares to launch his plot to take over the system once and for all. On the surface, he’s an aggressive but well-meaning functionary working for the Hierarchy, but his ambitions go much deeper than mere service. MacIntosh has convinced the Hierarchy that a purge is needed, for the good of the city, and he’s prepared to introduce a specialized virus into the populace to see that it’s done. The Hierarchy has agreed, so long as this virus, known only as Grimes, can be contained in the lower districts, and held to the wiping out the city’s junk files only.

MacIntosh has bigger plans than that. His vision of a future for the city is one built new. Once Grimes has infected 90% of the populace, thereby giving MacIntosh access to the “Emergency Wipe Protocols”, the bad apple will be able to rebuild the system in his image. How is Grimes going to get past the city’s protective filters, you ask? The only way an evil and destructive virus can, by piggy-backing aboard an seemingly innocuous and innocent spam file that’s been introduced into the city and is running blindly through its population.

Overrun does a LOT in this four issue run, and it does it quickly. The pace is bordering on frantic, with plot twists popping and changing, and characters running from one checkpoint to another at breakneck speed. You really need to pay attention, or you’re going to miss a lot. And lemme tell ya, there is a lot to miss here. Overrun’s creative team has put together a densely populated world based on your average computer system. It takes the idea presented in Tron, and completely humanizes the inhabitants of your desktop PC.

Every aspect of a computer is accounted for: Sexy jpegs take on the form of prostitutes in the red light district; MP4 files are people walking around with headsets, dressed in the style of whatever music they’re listening to (Goth, punk, metal, pop, etc); Video games are presented as television shows, the characters as celebrities from A-list to D-list; anti-virus programs and spam filters are the city’s police force.

And poor Cooper… this guy’s the sacrificial lamb, used to imprison the virus Grimes, to get him into the city where he can escape and get about his work. Thankfully, Cooper’s luck isn’t all bad, as he does manage to find a few friends along the way. Sarge, the aging hero of his own FPS; Red Shogun, the silent but deadly assassin; Tiny, the power-up addicted hulkster with a heart of gold; Lucy, the two-gun toting adventurer without fear; Pepe, the French handyman well-versed in all manner of hacks and repairs (but he doesn’t do plumbing…); and of course Dag Dag, the adorable and tiny (one could say “pocket sized”) monster who’s loyalty is without equal.

With all of its puns, site gags (yeah, I did that on purpose…), and Easter eggs (ie; Detective McAfee’s affinity for java and cookies), this is a pretty deeply layered bit of reading. The artwork is pretty snazzy, reminding me a lot of Scott Campbell’s work on Danger Girl, and pretty much every panel is packed with visuals. I think that if there’s any problem, it’s that with a story this detailed, four issues really wasn’t enough time to put it all out there. It seemed rushed, with no breaks to give the reader a chance to process what’s happening.

Overrun is a very entertaining read, one that I’d recommend to anyone who’s ever so much as turned on a computer and knows what a “jpeg” is. Take your time, follow along, and for the love of the Users THINK before you delete that file… he or she might have family who’s going to miss them when they’re gone.


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