Image Comics 20211
Created & Written by J.H. Williams III & W. Hayden Blackman
Illustrated by J.H. Williams III
Coloured by Dave Steward
Lettered by Todd Klein
Hope Redhood and her allies have been pursued by a violent golem, attacked by a giant sea serpent, and imprisoned by a former friend. No matter the threat, the team is determined to discover the secret behind Teros Demond’s stolen gem. But when an unexpected clue arises, they’ll have to brave the depths of the ocean to face their future with the enigmatic Oracle!
I was a tad intimidated by the first issue of this because of the way it’s set up and just how stunningly gorgeous the interiors are. But now that we’ve reached issue four I’m head over heels for this series. The way it feels like such a sweeping epic as the group gets whittled down and yet they still fight on to escape the grasp of the Wizard’s Daughter. They are a family at this point whether they believe this or not and how we see them interact with each other it’s painfully obvious at least to me. Also at this stage I have to say that the more I see them together and the more they help one another out the more I find myself caring about them.
I’m enchanted with the way that this is being told. The story & plot development that we see through how the sequence of events unfold as well as how the reader learns information are presented exceptionally well. The character development that we see through the opening narration, the dialogue, the character interaction as well as how we see them act and react to the situations and circumstances which they encounter does a magnificent job with fleshing out their ever evolving personalities. The pacing is excellent and as it takes us through the pages revealing the twists & turns along the way as well as the revelations we are transported almost as if through the looking glass into this weird and wondrous world.
I am absolutely loving the way that we see this being structured and how the layers within the story continue to emerge, grow, evolve and strengthen. I am also liking the way that these layers open up new layers to be explored. The Son of Jupiter, the Oracle and the Key all manage to add such great depth, dimension and complexity to the story. How we see everything working together to create the story’s ebb & flow as well as how it moves the story forward are impeccably handled.
The interiors here are absolutely bloody mindbogglingly brilliant to behold. The linework is exquisite and how we see the varying weights and techniques being utilised to create this level & quality in the detail within the work we see throughout the book is truly extraordinary. How backgrounds expand and enhance the moments bring this world alive with such verve and imagination. How they work within the composition of the panels to bring out the depth perception, sense of scale and the overall sense of size and scope to the work is marvellously rendered. The creativity and imagination we see throughout is off the charts and causes such awe and wonder within the reader. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show such a masterful eye for storytelling. The various hues and tones within the colours being utilised to create the shading, highlights and shadow work show such a master colourists eye for how to create the maximum effect the colours are capable of.
Between the mix of characters and their personalities, the obstacles they encounter and overcome as well the strength of their bonds increasing makes for some of today's most exciting and absolutely gorgeous reading. I’m loving the way that this is being written and with this amazing characterisation and these utterly bloody brilliant interiors are just the icing on the proverbial cake. This really is an epic story in the making and it’s glorious to experience.