Dynamite Entertainment 2016
Story by Edwin McRae & Ian Morgenheim
Written by Rik Hoskin
Illustrated by Ilaria Gelli
Coloured by Aditya Nugraha
Lettered by Bill Tortolini
Welcome to Skyrealm--where a thousand different cultures meet and all things are possible. Darius is a magic invoker of questionable prowess who's part of a trading party from the distant Unbroken Empire. But when the Unbroken transport is blasted out of the sky by pirates, Darius and his single surviving shipmate, Captain Krieger, find themselves up to their necks in trouble. Can they stay alive long enough to become the Heroes of Skyrealm? Discover a world of adventure that goes even further in Heroes of Skyrealm, mobile coming soon from Mechanist Games for iOS and Android!
Here’s an all-ages tie-in to a video game series which is really geared towards the younger crowd. With it’s American style Manga interiors it gives off a kids cartoon feel to it and has the bright colours that I associate more with a kids book. The story however has it’s appeal to all age groups and genders though.
For those of us unfamiliar with the game or what it’s about well that’s okay you don’t have to to enjoy this. It starts off with a nice encounter between two characters who are essential to the story and i’m hoping that these two guys, Captain Krieger and Darius, will be the stars of this series. I like what Rik does here as you can’t tell exactly if they have animosity towards each other or like each other so there’s great tension or good natured ribbing and it’s up to the reader to decide which. Though as the story progresses I think that changes a bit which is great to see.
The ship the guys are on, it’s a plane type ship, is ambushed and boarded by Pirates from the ocean below. A little on the violent side but hey that’s okay it’s all in how it’s presented that keeps it from being over the top but what see is still a little unnerving. Our two guys are caught attempting to flee and taken captive.
This is where the cartoon aspect really takes over and it reminds of watching Yu Gi Oh really. So it’s got that nice look and feel to it and yet it’s slightly exaggerated. The flow of the story through the page layouts with the use of angles, perspective and some backgrounds make it easy to follow. Plus the creativity in bringing some of the characters, see creature hybrids, to life-including humans, is well done indeed.
As far as an introduction goes it serves well as one. We get to meet those who we would consider heroes and definitely those that are villains and the struggle between the forces of Skyrealm are clearly evident. So what happens to our would be heroes well you’ll have to read the story to find out. This definitely has a charm to it that takes you slightly by surprise and it’s entertaining and with that cartoon feel it makes me long for the days when cartoons were with this kind of sophistication in the artwork.