Image Comics 2021
Written by J.H. Williams III & W. Haden Blackman
Illustrated by J.H. Williams III
Coloured by Dave Stewart
Lettered by Todd Klein
Desperate to escape the Wizard's magical assassin, Hope Redhood, Cor, Castrum, Dena, and Rosa seek safe harbour with the crime lord and self-proclaimed deity Romulus. But will Hope and Romulus’s turbulent history doom the rest of the crew? And can even a demigod in super powered armour stop the Wizard’s relentless daughter? And what has happened to Rabbit?
I’ve come to think that perhaps it's the kitsch factor that makes this as enjoyable as it is, but honestly that’s only a small part of it. How we see the writing, the characters themselves and their extremely familiar family dynamic play a large role here. The interiors here in this format are brilliantly rendered and honestly sometimes it’s difficult to actually read, however, when all taken together they do make for some incredibly interesting reading. The creativity and imagination that are required in order to bring this to life is staggering in the depth and scope in which we see it utilised. I am also enjoying how we see such individuals making up this family unit and that they all have specialities which they excel in. so it’s got that Dungeons & Dragons races feel with that classic superhero team feeling.
I’m very much enjoying 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 is presented exceptionally well. The character development we see through the narration, the dialogue, the character interaction as well as how they act and react to the situations and circumstances which they encounter does wonders in how we see their ever evolving personalities. The pacing is excellent and as it takes us through the pages revealing more and more of the story the more we begin to wonder about Hope. Definitely more than meets the eye to this young woman.
I appreciate how we see this being structured and how the layers within the story continue to emerge, grow, evolve and strengthen. How we see the layers opening up new avenues to explore, mid exploration of other opened avenues, and how this adds depth, dimension and complexity to the story is brilliantly rendered. How we see everything working together to create the story’s ebb & flow as well as how it moves the story forward are impeccably achieved.
I’m loving every moment of the interiors here. The linework is exquisite and how the varying weights and techniques being utilised to create this level & quality of the detail we see within the panels are stunningly fabulous. How we see backgrounds not only being utilised but essential to the storytelling by enhancing and expanding the moments is sheer brilliance. They also 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 story. The creativity and imagination, which I mentioned earlier, is totally off the charts as we see the sea creature in this issue and the whole Treasure Island with the multiple styles of artwork happening are mindbogglingly brilliant to see. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show a masterful eye for storytelling. The various hues and tones within the colours being utilised to create the shading, highlights and shadow work shows a masterful eye for how colour works and how to maximise its effects.
I’m glad that by doing this the way they are they are taking a risk making a book appear this way and it’s a risk that pays off for me anyway. The characters are intense, flawed and all too human which makes them that much more relatable to even when they don’t look like any human we know. The entire book, concept-story-writing-characterisation and the interior artwork are all bloody mindbogglingly brilliant to see coming to life.