Dark Horse Comics 2021
Written by Christopher Emgård
Illustrated by Tomás Aira
Lettered by Mauro Mantella
Hitler's dead. Ben and Katherine are supposed to be together, happy. Instead, Ben fights the war in the Pacific with the reckless heroism of one who believes his fiance killed in action. Yet, Katharine lives, undercover and about to arrive at the Third Reich's last bastion. Something is waiting for her there, for all of them, and it is hungry.
What a sensational first issue this is. We are introduced to these characters in such a wondrous way as we see Ben on his current mission and remembering the love of his life Katherine and the last time they were together. I really like this because we get that sense of how much they love one another and how much they mean to each other and what Ben believes to be true. What Christopher does here is amazing and in such a short period of time we see just how emotional these two can make the reader feel. Then to showcase what the Third and then Fourth Reich has created here is utterly amazing considering the location of the base and I have to say it is rather brilliantly done.
I really am thrilled with 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 exceedingly well. The character development that we see is extraordinary as we see through the dialogue, the character interaction and how they act and react to the situations and circumstances that they encounter. The pacing here is superb and as it takes us through the pages revealing the characters, this world and the story.
I am enjoying the way that this is being structured and how we see the layers within the story emerge and evolve. It is within these layers where we get the good bits that showcase different avenues the story could take as well as enhance the characterisation that we begin to see really form. It also manages to tie the layers to the main arc beautifully. How we see everything working together to create the story’s ebb & flow as well as how it moves the story forward is achieved extremely well.
The interiors here are absolutely lovely. The linework is exquisite and how we see the varying weights and techniques being utilised to create this gorgeous detail work is astonishing well rendered. The way that we see backgrounds throughout and how they work within the composition of the panels to bring us depth perception, a sense of scale and that overall sense of size and scope to the story is incredibly well handled. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show such a marvellously talented eye for storytelling. The colour work is absolutely gorgeous. The various hues and tones we see int he colours being utilised to create the shading, highlights and shadow work shows such a strong understanding for how colour works. I really am impressed with what I see within these pages and how it really brings feelings and emotions to the reader.
I was really taken with the page where Katherine sees their destination for the first time. Now I am assuming this is Antarctica considering they’ve actually got a continent underneath the ice whereas the North is pure ice and has no land mass to speak of. Regardless this is a sight to see and it’s utterly fantastic. That we see this and then the reader becomes engaged as they do and thanks to this amazing writing and interior artwork that does this brings the reader into this almost utterly and completely.