Top Cow Productions/Image Comics 2021
Written by Patrick Meaney & Mohsen Ashraf
Illustrated by Jeff Edwards
Coloured by John Kalisz
Lettered by Troy Peteri
When Sylas was gifted with the power to siphon other people’s pain from them and take it on himself, he never could have imagined that he was the latest in a line stretching back to the dawn of civilization or that his dark mentor Antonio has been killing those with the power for millennia. Trapped by Antonio, Sylas must go on a trippy mental journey to save himself from a fate worse than death and show that it’s possible to live a hopeful life no matter how dark the world gets.
I’m really surprised that this is only a three issue series and that the guys managed to tell it as a complete tale in those three issues. I would’ve expected this to go at least another issue to be truthful but the fact that this feels like I’m not missing anything or feel as if parts have been glossed over or even rushed and that’s a feat unto itself considering how much storytelling there is within these issues. This issue cements Sylas as a complex and interesting man whose power has so many advantages and is someone we now want to see more.
I really rather like 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 is exceptionally well rendered. The character development that we see through the narration, the dialogue, the character interaction as well as how we see them act and react to the situations and circumstances which they encounter is sensational. How we see the personalities come to the forefront and how belief can such a powerful thing is inspiring. How we see everything working together to create the story’s ebb & flow and how it moves the story forward is exceptionally well achieved.
How we see this being structured and how the layers within the story continue to emerge, grow, evolve and strengthen is fantastic. The layers open up some great avenues that could potentially be explored and are explored this issue. They add this great depth, dimension and complexity to the story. 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 pretty stunning. The linework is exquisitely rendered and how we see the varying weights and techniques to create this level & quality of mindbogglingly impressive detail within the work that we see is crazy good. I mean I'm sorry but to see the blues, the purples and the reds like we do is beyond charismatic. It is absolutely stunning work; it creates a sweeping epic all it’s own. How we see the composition within the panels and how the depth perception, sense of scale and the overall sense of size and scope comes to be is stupendous. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show a remarkably talented eye for storytelling. The various hues and tones within the colours being utilised to create the shading, highlights and shadow work are brilliantly rendered as I mentioned.
I like the idea of him being an EMT and having these powers and then there is something else that kind of nags to be explored more. He is holding onto things to keep himself going and he’s going to need to find that strength within himself and not rely upon others to keep him in check. That’s the next arc of this that I’d like to see for whatever that’s worth. That I am this invested and engaged in this book through only three issues should tell you just how well this has been done. The writing is superb and the characterisation is interesting and complex while the interiors here have been mindbogglingly brilliant to behold.