Scout Comics 2017
Written by James Haick
Illustrated by Branko Jovanovic
Coloured by Song Ye
When I don’t recognise the names involved I do like to look them up and see if they’ve done work in the industry before. In this case I didn’t see any references to previous work so they are a brand new duo, as far as I can tell, to the comics world okay well I did see that Banko has done a couple things but nothing major. Always a great thing to see when such talent finds its way to the industry. I’ll also be honest I thought this was going to be about a superhero so when I read this and realised how wrong I was I was even more thrilled.
I’ll say this for a first issue from a first time writer this beyond what you could hope for. It’s a well structured and executed story that shows us the present and then goes back to how we got to that point. All the while we have an understanding of what’s going on and the motivation behind at least one character. We are drawn into the story immediately and the interest level is high as the intro to the issue really catches the attention and imagination.
I have to say I really like how the Solar Flare is being used here. Aside from the fact that such an event is theoretically possible to do just this. To see it happen on the page through Branko’s vision to the way it looms over the events that we see throughout the rest of the issue is extraordinary. The fact that we keep seeing it and there’s a box with a countdown clock on it letting us know the date and time so that we the exact moment it affects the world is recorded and the tension that we don’t know when combine to really make this hit home.
Branko, I have no idea where he came from, well okay Serbia, but the stuff he does here feels like a cross between computer generated and hand drawn so at mixed media effect. It’s incredible to see and the attention to detail that can be fuzzy at times like a slightly out of focus camera makes for amazing moments here. The portrayal of the characters themselves is utterly fantastic and that they have such individuality and are what we would think of as averagely good looking make them accessible. The use of page layouts with their angles, perspective and attention to detail help the flow of the story maintain not only the right pacing but instill that tension as well.
This far from over as we’ve only just been introduced to a few characters and there’s still plenty more setup to go before we dive into the meat of the story. It’s got this whole post-apocalyptic vibe to it and it’ll be interesting to see how they make this their own and separate it from what’s already been done. Although right now they’ve got a great head start in that the writing is strong, the characters interesting and the characterisation superb. That of course goes alongside the interior artwork which looks likes the next big thing.
I love that we are getting stories like this, strong science fiction-esque tales that involve real people. It’s very much a story driven book and that is exceptional in my eyes as it means the medium keeps growing and broadening in nature.