Skybound/Image Comics 2017
Created, Written & Illustrated by Daniel Warren Johnson
Coloured by Mike Spicer
Lettered by Rus Wooton
Thea dreams. Not of a better life, but of revenge on the clan that ruined her family. With ferocious battles between man, machines, and monsters ahead…who knows where her quest for vengeance will take her?
Uhm okay wow this isn’t going to be a feel good kind of story by any stretch of the imagination and ya know what that’s okay. It’s got a lot going on emotionally with the cast of characters and it really does come across incredibly well. There’s a power in storytelling and showcasing something as emotionally raw as pain, anger and revenge and it has the effect of leaving the reader in a heightened emotional state.
Also I cannot express enough how much appreciation and admiration I have for someone talented enough to do all that Daniel does here. From writing and illustrating this we get exactly what what Daniel intends to make the most impact on us as readers. The work he does here is exceptional and if it has this much of an impact on me as a reader I can only imagine the process he went through to bring this to life. So bravissimo Daniel!
I think the way this book is structured is extremely well done. We start off with a look at the events that lead us up to where we are. All of this is told through Thea’s point of view so it’s personal and easy to see how the trauma we witness shapes who she becomes. There’s a really nice natural feeling flow to the story that makes it easy to follow and even easier to get swept up in all the emotions that they experience.
Love the interior artwork here too. The way that page layouts are utilised through angles, perspective and backgrounds really bring this to life beautifully. The use of colours is brilliant to me and really pops. There’s a great creativity and imagination on display with the way we see the humanoids and their differences as well as the technology that we see. Also the way we see these facial expressions and body language do as much for the characterisation as the writing does.
This is a powerful story and one that will take you places and into the mindset of it’s characters in ways that you will never expect it to. It will leave you feeling emotional and drained as you find yourself in a position to relate to the characters and their experiences and there are a wider range of those than you might think. There’s also a very real, honest and stark simplicity to the storytelling that is much more involved that we think.
I’m amazed at the level of storytelling here and in comics today in general and Skybound takes some risks that pay enormously.