American Mythology Productions 2021
Story by Chirstopher Paul Carey
Written by Mike Wolfer
Illustrated by Miriana Puglia
Coloured by Arthur Hesli
Lettered by Natalie Jane
The newest, action-packed journey to the Earth's core continues! After being ripped from the giant airship Favonia by a vicious pteranodon, Gretchen von Harben finds herself stranded on a secluded island amidst one of Pellucidar's vast seas. But she's certainly not alone there, because the tropical paradise is home to giant crabs, a brutish, ape-like Sagoth, and a race of sentient crab people who have enslaved hapless humans who are forced to mine the lava tunnels beneath the island. Joining forces with the Sagoth, Gretchen is determined to end the brutal rule of the Krataklaks, or die trying!
What an absolutely delightful issue this is. Sometimes we forget what it is like when a person arrives on the Island for the first time. The awe, wonder and horrors of it all come alive here through Gretchen and it brings back all the wide eyed joy that someone experiencing this for the first time should. While Gretchen seems to be handling this much better than I would’ve guessed she would and I like it, it really kind of shows us her measure as does a moment later on in the story that made me want to cheer.
I am very much a fan of hte 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 immaculately rendered. The character development that we see through 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 wonderful job in bringing us their personalities. The pacing is excellent and as it takes us through the pages revealing more and more of the story we see things progress at a fantastic clip.
I do appreciate the way that we see this being structured and how the layers within the story continue to emerge, grow, evolve and strengthen. How the layers open up new avenues to be explored and that they add such great depth, dimension and complexity to the story is so well rendered. How we see everything working together to create the story’s ebb & flow as well as how it moves the story forward is impeccably achieved.
The interiors here are extremely well done. I like that Gretchen looks like a full figured woman, not rail thin but thick like women of the age were, it just seems more appropriate this way and it could just be an illusion of her clothes but I’m sticking by what I see. The linework is fantastic and how we see the varying weights and techniques that we see being utilised to create this amazing detail within the work that we see. When we see backgrounds being utilised they enhance and expand the moments so I wish we were seeing more of them. Still how we see the composition within the panels brings out the depth perception, sense of scale and the overall sense of size and scope to the story. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels shows an extremely talented eye for storytelling. The various hues and tones within the colours being utilised to create the shading, highlights and shadow work show a nice understanding of how colour works.
I should be impressed with this original story set within the Edgar Rice Burroughs universe but I’m not. With the talent that we see in the creators and their obvious love and respect for the source material really shines through here. The writing is impeccable and the characterisation is pretty amazing while the classic comic book style interiors light up the imagination and creativity beautifully.