Boom Studios 2015
Created & Written by Christopher Sebela
Created & Illustrated by Jonathan Brandon Sawyer
Coloured by Carlos Zamudio
I’m all for a tale dealing with reincarnation so when I saw that’s what this was about I was pretty excited for it but that alone didn’t prepare me for what we were going to get here. This is engaging, interesting and deals with almost a conspiracy theory reincarnation of not just two specific people but a whole society of them with different caste systems. The opening of the book and this story is done so well by everyone that it took me by surprise in it’s intensity and interest level.
There’s this kind of recap of previous lives as we see two people battle each other time and time again seemingly from the dawn of mankind. The second and third pages do this masterful job of just illustrating battles in different era’s beautifully and even though violent and slightly bloody it’s got this power behind from Jonathan and Carlos that has an almost hypnotic effect.
When we get to know and learn about twenty six year old Mazie Lirah who now goes by Mali it’s through her narration that we get a sense of who she is, how she grew up and where she’s at in life. All of this paints a interesting picture of this woman who I see as damaged, lost and adrift in the world with no purpose or sense of direction and desperately seeking something to happen with her life. Her daydreams of her past lives emerging don’t help her situation any and do cause her and her boyfriend to break up but that seems like it’s definitely a good thing to have happened anyway.
She does have a wicked sense of humor though and with her step-father having been an infamous figure, the Omaha Ripper, she needs that to balance out the fact that he was a loving father to her alongside this more gruesome persona. I’m so impressed with what Christopher is bringing to the table in his characterization here. She’s a fantastic character who doesn’t understand what she’s going through and has had so much to deal with already that these episodes of reliving the past seem more like hallucinations rather than reality only furthering to frustrate and alienate her from those around her.
Miss Vos on the other hand is Mali’s ying to her yang. They are opposite sides of the same coin always at odds with each always killing each other time and again throughout history but why? It’s been so long what are they really killing each other for anymore and why keep this ridiculous and vicious cycle constantly moving without it going anywhere? Vos though has full knowledge of who she is and was and her role in things and she’s looking for Mali to keep the ritual going. Again Christopher’s characterization is something so darn good you really need to pick this up and see what the man is capable of doing.
I love how this issue ends too with Mali being attacked and awakened through the encounter while Vos is killing a man for the information of who she is. Plus the last page oh yeah that’s some trippy stuff. But I got to tell ya this is why we love comics, creator owned especially because they have this passion and dedication to bringing this to life so that the reader sits up takes notice and spreads the word that his is a project you need to get.
Fantastic premise, strong writing, characterization, plot development and advancement alongside some truly inspired interior artwork combine to bring this story to life in the most pleasantly unexpected way. Seriously the artwork is nice people, the attention to detail the colours the emotions and verve that come from the pages just enhance the reading experience.