This comic is as rare a find as one of the small gods.
Now, I am not easily impressed and can usually find flaws in comics and movies that other people love. I came to read this comic without any previous exposure to Daniel Warren Johnson (Creator, Writer and Artist), but I was instantly hooked. Colored by Mike Spicer, who has an impressive portfolio of his own, this comic drew me in visually right off the bat. It is brutal and visceral, but not overly so. Everything in this comic serves a purpose.
Issue one kicked off with Thea, trying to draw in her sketchbook. Not happy with her attempts she throws the book across the floor. We find out why as the story unfolds.
“This was not a story that came easy”, Daniel says at the end of issue one. “For better or worse, I wasn’t able to start telling this story well until I made the main character go through my worst nightmare: losing my right hand.”
This story then, which is primarily one of revenge, is also one of identity. Thea’s identity, her gift, is drawing. When her right hand is cut off, she wonders what is left of her. The brilliance of this story is in the depth of the characters. Her Father is broken from the death of his wife. Her Brother is broken as well, yet seems unable or unwilling to vent through the anger that drives Thea and her Father.
The villains even, from a distant planet, or floating rock as it is depicted, also have humanity to them. Everyone in this story seems angry and broken by something. The whole backdrop seems broken, a series of floating islands in space, dominated by the most powerful, the Paznina. There is a tension between the tribes, competing for resources, and as we enter issue two, you begin to realize why the Paznina cut off Thea’s hand. The villains, though not a focal point as far as panels spent developing them, quickly come to life, with motives as rich as the setting in which they live.
Issue two elaborates on the setting, and starts to set the groundwork for what could be an epic, Mad Max like space epic. There are hints at a previous era of technological advancement, and the potential discovery of a weapon that could turn the tide in this war. We see a little more of Thea’s Brother Rollo, his affinity for machinery and his hesitance to spill blood. The life they live as scavengers, displaced from their home by the Paznina, gives context to the pain, and strength of this family and the universe in which they survive.
I am genuinely excited to see how this story progresses.
(Guest post by M. Nutton)