Sharp Edge Comics 2018
Written & Created by Scott Payne
Illustrated & Created by Brian Balondo
Coloured by Bryan Magnaye & Angel Ronquillo Magnaye
Lettered by Matt Bowers
In the distant future, an exosuit pilot must unite a ragtag group of very unique warriors to save dying earth from a plague of mutant abominations and a genocidal dark entity born of the hatred of all humankind.
I am not gonna lie the writing here could have been a bit better, more so in the beginning the narration or story boxes don’t really seem to make sense to me also I got a little lost with all the word balloons and references so I would watch that in the future. I don’t see where they fit into the story so I could have done without them. Other than that the opening is rather well done. We get a brief introduction to the team and the horrors that they face. It leaves a lot open so that there is plenty to be explored from multiple angles and avenues and it gets the reader excited for the book and wanting to see more. Like how this guy who has an almost transformer like outfit that appears from nowhere.
I was a little surprised that we got something of a spotlight on Zithara and hear a lot of this mysterious Professor Li, who again seems to have a condition and some sort of background that is referenced as if we should know what happened. Just keep an eye on these little bits please, proof it and be like are we going to learn about this more soon or does feel out of place to a reader. I do however really like the way that the spotlight not only gives us insight into her as a child and learning about her abilities but also that moment she discovered she could fight and be damn good at it and then have that transfer into the main story like the does is extremely well done.
The way this is structured is pretty well done and it’s nice to see. The background information leading into the present story is among some really good strong examples of understanding how a story should flow. That it also introduces us to characters from her past doesn’t hurt either as the characterisation here is really well done and makes me want to see more of the Doctor Mullin and Sgt. Perry. Not only that but more about this place and what happened after they got out. This is how you garner more interest in the series by enticing readers to see beyond what’s on the page and leaving them wanting more.
I am a fan of the interiors here. The linework that we see is gorgeous and the way the varying weights are utilised in bringing us this attention to detail is beautifully done. That along with the colour work is wow stuff, the shine of green in the armour as well as way these mutant things are shown make things pop and the interest factor skyrocket. The creativity and imagination on display is sensational and the fact that these mutants look they way they do is testament to that. The utilisation of page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels shows off a really strong eye for storytelling. The way that backgrounds are utilised could be stronger but overall the way it all comes together is nice to see.
Once we get into Zithara’s story the books flows a lot better and there isn’t any more confusion about what we see, or more accurately read. The premise isn’t really explained yet so we are more left up in the air as to what’s really going on here but the fact that this small team is trying to eradicate a menace comes through loud and clear. That these aren’t mindless beasts adds something to this that makes us as surprised as Zithara is and that’s great to see.
This is a lot better than many of the first issues of self-published books that we see out there. There is also a lot of potential for growth in the creators here and that is as exciting as the overall book is. This is why I tell you to check out artists alley and go out and support these folks so that the next generations of storytellers can feel confident about what they do.
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