Boom! Studios 2020
Written by Tom Taylor
Illustrated by Daniele Di Nicuolo
Coloured by Walter Baiamonte with Katia Ranalli
Lettered by Ed Dukeshire
This is an all-new original series about seven powerful secrets -- words, wonders, weapons, and worse -- with the power to change the world.. For centuries, the Order has trusted in Keepers and Holders to guard the Secrets in seven briefcases against all harm, but when their stronghold is attacked and the secrets put in peril, the entire Order must face their greatest fear -- an enemy who knows too much and is willing to kill to get what he wants. Now, the Order's newest member, Caspar, must discover the truth of the Secrets before the enemy does, or risk losing everything.
There is a reason there was a quiet hype about this book. Not only is this freakin’ amazing but it just really captures the mind, imagination and creativity in the reader beautifully. When we open up the story we start thinking right away and to be honest there is amazing misdirection in it that takes you by surprise. I adore that because it sets the tone for the entire story and that means you have to pay attention to what we are reading and that’s even more stellar to me. The way we are engaged and how fast and intensely that happens is beyond anything I could’ve hoped for.
The way this is being told is utterly phenomenal! 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 beautifully rendered. The idea here is sensational and that it feels natural as if this weren’t a conspiracy theorists dream come true is nice to see. The character development is superb and as we see the characters face the situations and circumstances continuing to help define who they are. The pacing is on point and as it takes us through the pages revealing the world alongside the twists and turns along the way keeps this as thrilling as can be. The way the book is structured and how we see everything working together to create the story’s ebb & flow show why Tom’s one of those writers we love to follow. Also you can see the passion he has for the project in the way this is being told, so Bravissimo!
The interiors here are really nice to see. There is something to be said about how this seems to mix the all-ages animation style with an almost manga feel to it that elevates what we see and the impact it has on the reader. The linework is fantastic and how we see the varying weights being utilised, especially in the backgrounds, really give some lovely focal points. The utilisation of the backgrounds do a beautiful job in bringing us depth perception, a sense of scale and that overall sense of size and scope to the book. The colour work is gorgeous. One of the things I adore about this is the fact that we see the backgrounds fuzzy like where the colour is utilised to show us distance. The way we see such solid colour packed in and also how we see the various hues and tones being utilised to create the shading, highlights and shadow work here is divine. The work, the creativity and imagination that is on display really take the story to a whole nother level.
I was excited for this as it was and then knowing the first issue sold out before event hitting stands made me hope it was worth it. Turns out it is and then some. The story is phenomenal and it adds mystery, intrigue and all kinds of great drama that is making this one of the year's best surprise hits.