Aftershock Comics 2019
Written by Cullen Bunn
Illustrated by Fran Galán
Lettered by Dave Sharpe
When Auguste de Riviere returned from the Crusades, he was ashamed and horrified by the things he had done. Hoping to reclaim his soul, he pledges to root out evil wherever it might be found. But when he pursued a vile sorcerer into a forbidden forest, his life was shattered. Auguste ventured into the dark forest, but emerged in the modern world. Accompanied now by the enigmatic Jane Fool, Auguste hunts a madman while trying to piece together the mystery of his very existence.
Alright I am down with this. The opening here is the perfect bait for reeling in the reader hook, line and sinker. The foreboding atmosphere that is created here is sensationally well done and it begs to be explored further. So further we go indeed. What it does is essentially set up the premise for the whole series, Auguste chases after Gaspard into what is considered a haunted wood. Why because Gaspard has done something despicable, what it is ain't exactly clear but there's a girl hanging out of there telling him he aught to beware.
So after we get to see the opening the story really picks up. It picks up unexpectedly and again we are caught in the middle of what's been going with Auguste. Instead of resting on the whole guess where you are now Cullen does this magnificent now and then storytelling so that we see the past and present complete what we need to know about Auguste and his companion Jane. There is just this presence to what we see that commands attention and it surely isn't anything that I was expecting to see here. This is pretty darn brilliantly accomplished and I have to say that if this is any idea of what is in store for us then I don't think even buckling in is gonna help!
Also I am really impressed with the characterisation here. From the fast and loose way we see Jane to the ultra seriousness in Auguste and even the little guy who has no real connection to them that we can see right away. Actually I believe that he's going to be the surprise character who everyone is going to fall in love with, the standout. When you read this you'll understand the sentiment.
The interiors here are really nicely done. I am really impressed with the strength and quality of the linework that we're seeing here. How we see the varying weights being utilised to really bring out some beautiful attention to detail. That she isn't afraid to utilise backgrounds here and treats them with the same amount detail involved so they really do expand the moments and bring a superb size and scope to the story. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show a really nice eye for storytelling. The colour work is gorgeous and it really manages to create the right mood, tone and feel for every moment in this book. The colour blocking and how we see the light sources create shading and shadows is so well presented to us. There are even these nice techniques utilised throughout, see the lights around the seats of the arena, or the path he is supposed to take. It's just brilliant work all around.
I like the idea and while it has a slightly familiar element I haven't seen anything done quite like this which just goes to show that Cullen's mind is a scary place to be. Why? Simple because he has this vivid imagination and creativity all his own that just can't wait to be unleashed on an unsuspecting audience. This will capture your imagination and let your mind run wild with possibilities as you become fully engaged in what's happening before you eyes.