This comic has been rated adults only by its creator(s)

Icon for MillerIcon for ArenaIcon for The SmileIcon for Remy Naufrage
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Crit level: No preference
tags: adler, anvil, arena, coalition, coup, election, government, jonathan, karrin, klash, lu, mayor, Miller, naufrage, phoenix, politics, remy, retribution, royale, smile

Critiques & Comments
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# 21   Posted: Dec 23 2020, 12:07 AM

Community Manager
# 20   Posted: Dec 22 2020, 07:43 PM
This was a really enjoyable comic and it's great that it finally came out. the way the black pages helped blend styles was great and all the art here is really enjoyable.
This whole comic is really a rise of Smile. Page 15 being my favorite becuase the body language and final panel really do awesome stuff for him.
The council scene was fun to read with how brutal Smile was with those against him. Others have made fantastic writing crits already of some of the issues with it. like the council never felt threatening in any way here and their murders, while fun, didn't seem like a dramatic upheaval the way the writing was setting it up to be. There is also the weird set up with Lu and the magic dagger that doesn't really go anywhere. Considering the time it took to make this comic, trying to set up for future comics isn't great considering the follow up alluding to that dagger may take so long to make that people forget about it.
I also don't mind most of the references of the past events, times have changed but I feel like only a couple felt a little too dated, Wulf town being the biggest one that sticks out. maybe it's cause I came in around the time but most of these only felt like a year old, which isn't too bad.
Overall great comic and gives others a lot to work with for future comics.

# 19   Posted: Dec 22 2020, 05:37 PM
first off, art's great.  I'm not sure that you folks spent two years drawing it but each panel hits hard and it shows how much thought got put into each bit by everyone.
Don pretty much said what was bothering me for much of the story though.  For some reason I was reading this and it didn't land as hard as it should have with me and I figure that's because a large chunk of this comic is just telling us what the status quo is now; and much of the events and characters referenced here are from things that were recent when this project was started and from characters that haven't been in the eyes of voiders in a while.  This is a really good read for anyone that's been on the site from before 2018 since a bunch of the fan favorite characters and artists are present here.
Timing aside, this is a pretty great Smile comic, like now that guy's a villian right there!.
It's a good story with a pretty big info dump that yes, is mostly just telling, but this does serve as kind of a soft reset/ progression of the general void city story that many voiders have integrated into their comics.  It gets old stuff out of the way and makes room for some interesting shake ups for the new crop of 2018 and thereon voiders.
Despite some story issues it's clear that this has already gotten plenty of voiders looking to make their mark in void city of their own now.

Never thought i'd see a new void comic with Karrin Klash again tho.  I like her.

# 18   Posted: Dec 22 2020, 01:07 AM
There's not much else I can say that hasn't already been said. Anyway-

Congrats on finishing this beast of a comic! This is such a wonderful combination of skills and people, and I loved the direction this comic took! It sets up a lot of narrative roads that can be used by basically any character, if they do choose to use it. It's also such an interesting path for the Election Royale storyline that this is setting up for.

I'm very interested in how the characters even within this comic react and continue the story!

# 17   Posted: Dec 21 2020, 08:44 PM
First off, congrats on finally finishing this! It must have been really difficult to wrangle 8 artists with differing schedules.

Spoiler: Comment Time • show
Radji’s SFX are excellent as usual, and there were certain panels that really stuck in my mind afterwards. The Smile putting his cigar out just over an ant queen on page 27 for instance, and the two top panels on page 24 of him gesticulating with that eerie red lighting. The massacre was really creative, I especially like the guy getting stabbed by an arm, that was fucking gruesome. The buildup to violence was great for that and before Arena and co get blown up too, you can definitely feel the tension.

Page 24 was probably my favourite page here. The palette, the layout arrangement, the spot blacks... and ngl the lowkey homoerotic energy ahaha. I find it kind of interesting how the Smile’s energy changes in different artist’s sections. During the meeting, he’s initimidating in a more creepy way, as his originally calm demeanour and tidy appearance clashes with his violent attitude. When he meets Adler, he feels less creepy, simply powerful and physically imposing full stop. During his speech he has a borderline manic energy. It’s really cool.

I think Don hit the nail on the head wrt writing. As usual I reread this a couple of times before commenting, and I couldn’t help but feel I was missing something. People were really hype for this, but when I read it I just thought “okay”. Some people mentioned similarities to Trump’s speech, so I figured my lack of feeling may have been due to cultural differences. I think a good chunk of it may still be related to that, but Don’s right. This is almost 40 pages straight of just talking to the audience, and about political stuff that affected Void before most of us even got here. With the way Void has changed recently, a lot of it is irrelevant now, and muddles the story’s point, imo.

A lot of ideas appear to clash here too. For example, I’m not sure how the scene was before 2018 but it appears the vast majority of Void characters are metas or non-humans in some way. So the Smile has effectively turned the whole city against him with this announcement. He also talks about how the governnent has done nothing... but having been mayor for 2 years now, he IS government. Earlier in the comic he mentions just being a figurehead, but by the speech he has enough power to dissolve the Retribution campaign and forcibly retire Arena. As readers, we know due to the events of the meeting he scared the rest of the council into not ordering him around, but the public doesn’t. All they know is things have gone to shit for two years, and now their mayor is ranting about it while he seemingly could have fixed it all along. It almost feels like the sole purpose of his speech was to reveal how out of touch he is and destroy his own image, not turn the city against non-humans.

Again I have to agree with Don, I’m sure this would have hit for more people had it been released 2 years prior (though it’s still doing pretty damn well now!). As it stands, it’s clear that the core of this story was developed way earlier, with bits added in so that they don’t appear to have been ignored, as with Arma. In a meta sense, it doesn’t vibe with the general atmosphere anymore either (most of Void being nonhuman, many featured characters being inactive for years, etc). While I know nothing in Void is canon, when you’re writing something that is intended to affect all of Void, it’s definitely something to be taken into consideration to ring true with more readers.

PS What did Lu actually bring to the table? It was very vague, and all that happens was Remy and Colbitzer shooting a rocket launcher at Arena. That seems like something anybody could have done, and wasn’t something only Lu or Remy could do. I’d have like to see her deal expanded on more within this comic.

Global Moderator
# 16   Posted: Dec 21 2020, 04:38 AM
So this comic was a long time coming, and I can agree with everyone else that this comic brings unease, and I can share the sentiment of Batty wherein it's an anxiety that comes with understanding of the current, realistic situation we're all in beyond this community. Reality aside, acknowledging that this comic (And it's future parts in its entirety) have been two years in the making— My unease is also just a part of my investment in this comic. It's a gorgeous thing, and that's something I can't deny, it's obvious that this was made from the passion of several artists trying to play into a long-term overarching storyline.

Visually? I have no qualms with what we're given. It's great, I love how easily your styles blend together and at the same time I can tell who-did-what throughout this. It's hard to pick a favorite section of this bunch when every page brings alot to digest. This comic shows several characters in a new light— From Arena's slow crumble in her long time position as NVCPD chief (Which, we don't really see enough of! And I would love more of it!), to Smiley still maintaining his perversion to violence but with less of that cartoony warping I associated him with previously (He's different with the mask off, honestly! Like a part of me perceives the realism that he is drawn in, is also articulated in is writing as well. When Heathen writes him- He's certainly a villain, but not to a verbally, politically corrupt*, xenophobic extent like here.), and more— I love seeing these new sides to these characters and am anxious for more.

*Asterisk here because it's pretty clear that it's not that as though he's taking a side here? Well, sort of? As Smiley states himself, he exists for violence and his actions & words exist only to execute those means, sparks for the flame.

Writing, I guess I have commentary? Put it under a spoiler because I feel like I word vomited, so I'll provide a TL;DR below.

It is /COMPLETELY/ understandable why this comic took so long. We have lives to take care of, other developments to focus on. However I suppose I wanna implore on the marketing of not just this comic, but Retribution & Smiley's position as mayor as a whole (Though this does push elections as a whole, clearly,)— Since it is piggybacking on an event was unable to proceed actively for long, and most were left supposing that it came to a discontinued close as a whole.

And as it is presented 2 years later, the scene in enterVOID has changed and moved on from Retribution as well— There's alotta dialogue in this comic about things in the past that, due to the nature of being in the past and about past events and not reflecting the 'present' of VOID city— Not to mention it all is very 'Telling' but no 'Showing' of change (Given, this is a prologue, but I digress). Or, when it is shown, I personally feel as though these scenes are not given the depth they should have, not given that space to exist as a major impactful thing. (It just 'Happens', here's what it looked like, now have at it.)
It also talks about events, groups (Excluding the Phoenix Coalition) that do not specifically correlate to the events that impact today's community (The VOID city fictional community)— I would say this comic would have an even stronger success with users circa 2014-2017, because it is more relevant and actually features characters who were much more active during those times then 2018-2020. The most recent event that really is featured here (And doesn't even play a major part, it's featured, it's mentioned, but it plays a minor role to the comic overall and is only a piece to saying "Look Arena's failing!"), is the 2020 Armageddon, and this is just me making an example.

We're shown a group of council members who we are told "Control the city", but this is my first time seeing them anywhere (Hell, they don't even appear in Retribution - A Breaking Point, which would've been a prime space to make these NPC's matter in their corporate villainy against Arena's own authoritarian power displayed in that comic). And if they have this much capitalist power in a city that is used in several users comics, a city that is a general go-to hubspace for all submitted characters on this site...You'd think there would be more buildup for them, right? But they just exist, simply to not exist moments after. It's easy to tell when characters are designed for one-off executions within the same comic, but it's a shame that these NPC's with powerful positions are just collateral.

"The PD are ours [Phoenix Coalition]," This isn't built up to in any previous context, the corruption doesn't have natural growth,  we are just handed this sudden information that oh just the ENTIRE police department is corrupt and evil now. "Trust in Arena significantly dropped after the hellraisers beat her," This is told, very clearly /not/ shown, and we are told how to react as well (From "It's not looking good," to "The chief's done so much for this city". You could list what Arena's done to me, but once again, I'll bring up that our community is 2018-2020, not 2017 and/or earlier.) This entire comic IMPLIES that there will be a civil war of anti-meta vs. meta...But where is it shown, visually in a man vs. society sense, when this comic seems carved to be about the specific individuals Arena and the Smile (Man vs. Man)?

Tl;DR, I feel like this comic's biggest weakness is that it does a lot of "Telling" but not showing, showing in a way that gives the several major events that just Happen here and not given their 'space' to be absorbed. And in some moments, we're being told HOW to react to things, because the nature of this comic is reflected upon events that happened even previous to Smiley's election in 2018 and do not impress/implore on the community (Both fictional and literal) that is made of, most commonly, users that joined 2018-2020. That's just sort of a general drawback from a comic that was made over 2 years, and that's highly understandable. I hope that with the next chapter/future comics relative to the characters being shown here, the elements that are introduced here are further explored then just simply dishing out tantalizing community plot-ideas, but performed/explained in highly specific, individualistic executions.

# 15   Posted: Dec 20 2020, 03:31 AM
Pita pretty much said all my feelings regarding the contents of this comic--it made me legitimately uncomfortable and uneasy, especially in light of current events in America. I think that really colored my perception of this comic, unfortunately, and made it a little less fun for me, because it wasn't just a fun little villain speech--it's reality that we face now. Granted, reality doesn't target anthros and metas, but still.

THAT SAID I do think it's a testament to good writing that you were able to get me to feel those things, and that was clearly your intention so props for succeeding! I'll also say I'm admittedly a little tired of the anthro/toon/meta hate plotline, but that's entirely a personal thing and tbh it makes sense for ol' Smiley to go that direction. That's the biggest positive for the story, imo--it all makes perfect sense from the character's standpoints.

Art-wise I honestly have nothing to crit really. The eight of you really worked well together and covered for each other to put together something really good. Definitely worth the wait.

# 14   Posted: Dec 19 2020, 01:13 PM
This is Fan-fucking-tastic!! I need more retribution! more Smile! I'm excited for the upcoming election royal!
Worth the wait!

Community Manager
# 13   Posted: Dec 18 2020, 07:06 PM
I was feeling legitimate unease and tension while reading this comic.  The Smile's speech about wanting to go back to the Good Ol Days hits a little too close to home considering the American political atmosphere for the past few years, so I was IN THERE when he was talking up his position.

Can't wait to see who will try to oppose this masked man of Days Gone By.

# 12   Posted: Dec 17 2020, 01:48 PM
Godd, this was such a delight to read! The art was just *chef's kiss*, the color choice was so damn good- it fit perfectly with each situation. The way The Smile butchered everyone in that room was so damn original and refreshing, the slight nod to a *certain* movie but with its own twist made me feel all fuzzy. The paneling was so professional-looking, nothing felt out of place.
Even with my limited knowledge of most character's backstories (i read this the first time before reading the ones Pyras mentioned in the comments) I was still hooked, just like Camel mentioned.
This looks like industry-level stuff, absolutely love it!
The sense of urgency in this was palpable, it made me feel like I was there and needed to get out asap. I'm itching to see what the affected characters do next!

# 11   Posted: Dec 17 2020, 11:06 AM
Really upset that I have to simp for The Smile now, why did you have to do this to me ....

# 10   Posted: Dec 17 2020, 10:38 AM
Camel, I always love your observations.

# 9   Posted: Dec 16 2020, 11:41 PM
There's nothing quite like a collab comic, i'm tellin you. Often times collabs end up producing some standout comics, and this one is no exception. I feel like everyone here was on their A game, there's no parts of this comic that feel weak or unfinished. Some highlights:

-There are a ton of great hooks in this comic; the disappearance of Caelum, the plot against arena, the mayor's coup - that really do make me excited to see what comes next. And even at a near 40 pages, there doesn't feel like a lick of fat that needs to be cut from this -  future events are being laid out, but they're being laid out in an intriguing way, as opposed to just being a menu of what's to come.

-Even though there is some required reading, this comic is still really engaging even with zero knowledge, which is great news for newcomers. There's a nice "refresh" quality to the writing which makes this a great way to catch up to the various narrative threads that ya'll have been weaving for a while.

-Some great palettes here - Kozi's classic purples, as well as that great demonic red versus frigid blue palette that was being used in those last couple of pages.

-Smile is even more intimidating without the mask, if you ask me. The way he's drawn, specifically in the boardroom scenes, is terrifying, he's got such an intimidating presence.  His body almost always occupies the entire frame, and is usually drawn from a low angle, which makes him so powerful looking, but also refined.  The violence here was admittedly to be expected, but Vilelinko's expressions make this a lot more creepy - it's not just bloodlust, but there are flashes of boredom in his face, as if this violence is passé.

-Some great layouts - Page 25,  Pg 21, Pg 33

Can't wait to see the conclusion!

# 8   Posted: Dec 16 2020, 11:44 AM
Rivana:Raven will definitely follow this as part of her canon...

I also can't wait to read stories that will be borne out of this plot should Voiders choose to incorporate this in their comics from this point on.
Thanks for the comments! If a comic inspires others to make more comics, that's about the highest praise it can get!

# 7   Posted: Dec 16 2020, 11:18 AM
Corn Of The Breads:

Love this reference.
Oh THAT'S where that's from! I couldn't remember what show I'd seen that did the same thing haha

# 6   Posted: Dec 16 2020, 10:40 AM
Read this comic in its entirety in one sitting. Very engaging and exciting. While I ABSOLUTELY love the lowkey, wholesome, silly and feel good comics here in Void,  these types of high stakes drama is what really gets me inspired to do more comics.

This story is  especially exciting for me because my interest  in comics was borne from 90s X-Men animated series which revolved around the anti-mutant sentiment so the nostalgia factor is also there for me. I love it when 'heroes' are challenged and see them rise or fall to the occasion.

Congratulations on finally getting this out. The amount of talent poured into this is tremendous and a picture of what Void's best has to offer.  It doesn't disappoint and I find it very inspiring especially as I have character that I am going to enter into Void soon who is decidedly anti meta. Some of you have heard of  him and seen him in Raven's intro comic and Popular Monster.

Speaking of which, Raven will definitely follow this as part of her canon and gosh, my brain is trying to wrap around the story potential revolving VCV from this moment on. With Swan's close ties to Arena, Xia being literally called out/insulted by Smile and Mammon right there who is very close to Wizzie Belles.

I also can't wait to read stories that will be borne out of this plot should Voiders choose to incorporate this in their comics from this point on.

Anyhow I will stop before I ramble on and on. I don't feel like nitpicking, reading the comic as a whole is such a blast. WELL DONE!

# 5   Posted: Dec 15 2020, 10:00 PM
Look. The space elevator was a important infrastructure project ok! This is slander!

Also this is a great comic. I will have to reread it a few times before I vote and properly crit, but good job to all involved.

Corn Of The Breads
# 4   Posted: Dec 15 2020, 09:27 PM

Love this reference.

# 3   Posted: Dec 15 2020, 06:24 PM
Great googly moogly its all gone to hell.


Global Moderator
# 2   Posted: Dec 15 2020, 05:25 PM

Retribution was a global event where the Lawful and the Lawless battled for points, under Police Chief Arena's enforcement to fight back against terrorists and villains.

For this comic, the most relevant comics to read are:

Veronica Nightingale's Retribution: Caelum's Ultimatum
Arena/Miller's Retribution: Breaking Point
Election Royale 2018's winning comic
Wynne's comic vs Roxy in Great Escalations
Ash and Owl's The Rage: Retribution Side Story

Global Moderator
# 1   Posted: Dec 15 2020, 05:21 PM
Comic completed!

This is both a Retribution final results comic and an Election Royale setup comic. It takes the scores of the Retribution battles and BB comics and leads to the culmination, which kicks us off into Smile's re-election coup.

This comic was actually started in 2018 after the last Election Royale and went through multiple re-writes and edits up to this point. For too many reasons we were unable to finish it until now, but have done the best we could to merge 2018 and 2020 in terms of relevant elements of the comic's world. Everyone put on various hats in order to get it done before the year was up, we hope you enjoy and prepare for related Election Royale news coming soon

Comic Details -

Drawing Time: 5 weeks
Ended: Dec 22nd, 2020
Votes Cast: 27
Page Views: 1371

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