The Dickens classic reimagined as a female-centric, dark futuristic fable.
To save a boy she barely knows, teenage orphan Olivia Twist joins THE ESTHERS, a rag-tag girl gang of thieves running free in a dangerous future. Olivia's life in this London of internment camps and strange technology gets even more complicated when she discovers that she has more power and wealth than she's ever dreamed of. But it comes with a great cost.
This volume collects issues #1-#4 of Darin Strauss, Adam Dalva, and Emma Vieceli's Olivia.
Strauss (Half a Life) and Dalva ambitiously adapt Dickens's classic serial with a diverse, futurist aesthetic that lacks novelty and depth. London of 2050 is controlled by Provis, a robotics corporation which relies on the slave labor of human children to fuel its growth. After Olivia, an orphan styled rather like Rosie the Riveter as a teen girl in jaunty overalls, rebels against her overlords to protect a newcomer named Pip, she escapes and, with the help of the felonious Artful Dodger, joins a female-centered revolutionary cell called the Esthers. Vieceli (the Jem and the Holograms series) refreshingly attempts to update the original cast with more diverse characters (referencing several of Dickens's other well-known protagonists), but Strauss and Dalva's fleshing out of the crew is sketchy and uneven, including a token nonbinary character whose backstory consists only of nondescript abuse "by everyone." Much of the plot is a standard MacGuffin hunt in which various players attempt to secure a locket which can only be opened with Olivia's blood, confusingly paced with help from some extraordinarily plot-convenient seizures. For all its laudable themes of empowerment for the disenfranchised, Strauss and Dalva's text is too by-the-numbers to make a lasting impression.