Boom! Studios 2020
Written by Tom Taylor
Illustrated by Daniele De Nicuolo
Coloured by Walter Baiamonte
Colour Assists by Katia Ranalli
Lettered by Ed Dukeshire
After a deadly attack on the Order, their youngest member Caspar must step forward to keep the world safe from the Seven Secrets with the power to destroy it. But surviving The Trials doesn't mean just becoming the next Holder of a great Secret - it also carries dangers that will change Caspar's life in unimaginable ways…
Well this issue certainly takes us someplace I wasn’t quite ready to go but that’s really for us to talk about next issue. We learned in the last issue who Caspar is and who his parents were and the mission that started off this whole series. I do like that we pick up where the last issue left off as we are still learning the history of Caspar from where his literal birth. The way that who Caspar is and how he was raised is so essential to understanding the story is so beautifully woven throughout. This makes it far more interesting to read than the usual tale and Tom is taking all the talent and skill has honed over the years to really create something different, unique and engaging.
The way that this is being told is pretty amazing. The story & plot development that we see through how the sequence of events unfold as well how the reader learns information is perfectly presented. Seeing characters and how they act and interact with each other is different from each person’s point of view so it’s interesting to see different reactions to different folks. I mean Canto seems like the worst kind of man to be around though i will say that are a fair amount of gay men among the Secret Keepers and I like this sort of inclusion as there’s no big deal about it, it just is. The character development that we see is phenomenal and I am enjoying how the actions they take and how they act and react to the situations and circumstances they encounter help to keep them growing as people. The pacing is superb and as it takes us through the pages revealing Caspar’s life it is easy to see just how well everything works together to create the story’s ebb & flow.
The interiors here are nice to see. There is a great comic book sensibility to what we see and it makes reading this a joy. Also the nearly androgynous way we see characters just adds to the mystique that surrounds them which is another high point in my opinion. The linework is strong and how we see them utilised and how they bring out the details that we see. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show a talented eye for storytelling. There is a pretty fair amount of backgrounds being utilised here though I would like to see more of them. How they manage to flesh out the moments and bring this overall sense of size and scope to the book is so nice to see. The colour work is nice as well. The mask with it’s solid colours and the painted on lips only changing depending on the light source is nicely rendered. There is a lot of solid colour work and we do see some nice variations in the colour blocking with the various hues and tones.
This is unlike any kind of academy we’ve ever seen before. There are no powers, no magical gifts and the kids we see who make up the student body are kids that the world has forgotten about. This place gives them new meaning, new purpose and allows the organisation to keep growing. It is a fabulous idea and how we see it being executed is phenomenal. Once again Boom! alongside this creative team have found another stellar award winning worthy series and I cannot wait to see how this continues to grow and evolve.