Boom Studios 2015
Written by Christopher Sebela
Illustrated by Jonathan Brandon Sawyer with Claire Roe
Coloured by Carlos Zamudio
Lettered by Shawn Aldridge
I’m always a fan of stories where past lives are concerned, i’d love to learn what all mine were. The trick is to take a new and unique approach to it and so far I think Christopher has taken elements from a few i’ve seen and truly made them his own. That there are entire societies of people who awaken and continue to run empires or enforce rules depending on your caste well it’s pretty darn interesting. This one focusing on some warriors well it just means he can come back at any time and visit different aspects of these folks with unlimited story potential. To start off with an action adventure story though with all the fighting and such is the smart move.
Jonathan, Claire and Carlos do a magnificent job on the interiors too. There’s some beautiful detail happening here and the almost innocence of the characters belies their true nature in such an effective manner. Take Mal’s step-dad as he introduced himself at the end of last issue for example. It’s a mixture of pure genius and terrifying implications. Also what we see this team do with “him” this issue really takes the storytelling to a whole new level.
I’m kind of sad this is only four issues but the balance between seeing Mal or Maizi depending on who is speaking awaken and her hunter Tessa’s actions, not to mention the myriad of others is perfectly done. There’s still this whole welcome to the world explanation happening with first hand experience seeing it in action through the eyes of others that makes it balanced in a way that works with only a four issue run.
Throughout the issue we see the struggle of lower castes wanting to rise up the ranks and why the elite are so fearsome. Mal may have just awoken but if she’s going to survive this she’s going to need to get her act together, synch up with her past lives and get ready to do whatever it takes. Seeing the difference so clearly in these pages of her current state of mind and what she’s going through compared to what she’s up against is pretty amazing. I love that there are so many of these people out there who have awoken and are just running around the world.
That it’s getting harder to tell friend from foe is another delightful aspect of this story. Christopher has brought us and is delivering a seriously kick butt tale. With interiors that capture both the hard edged fighting and survival and the innocence of discovery the way they do Boom! Studios keeps proving they are the frontier for what’s hot in the industry.