It’s been quite a while since I’ve read first issues of comics as I’ve been preoccupied with two really great series (Empress and Joyride – check them both out if you crave excellent art and great storytelling), but I recently went to Forbidden Planet in Dublin and picked up a few new series to try out.
Beautiful covers just really do it for me, and this one in particular is right up my street. Quirky art and any colours that remind me of a sunset drastically increases the chances of me picking a comic up, and this particular issue has both. There’s what looks like a building with a face on the front, and usually this kind of thing would put me off as it brings to mind lots of preconceived notions about the story/overall tone of the comic, but I figured I’d take a chance on it.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Rick and Morty and Adventure Time and weird and wonderful cartoons like them as much as the next guy, but I usually don’t like my comics to feature silliness. I’m a hardcore drama/action comic fan, and I rarely try comics that don’t fit that mould.
Ether is definitely not hardcore drama OR action, despite there being a murder in the first few pages. It is about a scientist (who is a very strange individual, much like many of the main characters from Adventure Time etc.) who is somehow able to walk in and out of a magical world as he pleases. Despite witnessing this other realm, he doesn’t actually believe in magic and insists it can all be explained by science that hasn’t been named yet.
The characters you meet are pretty fun – my favourite being the talking ape/bouncer lad who acts as the gatekeeper to the realm – and you actually learn quite a lot about the scientist, his life situation, and the magical realm in the first issue. It’s not quite as silly as it first appears, there are quite a few deep themes that are sure to be explored in future issues, including homelessness, heartbreak, bullying from peers, the science behind magic and, of course, good vs evil.
Definitely worth a read! This comic has something for everyone.
The art in Reborn is totally different from that of Ether, and I do actually prefer it. Not just because it has the deep black inks and clean lines of what I consider traditional comic art, but also because it frames the scenes in a really beautiful way.
There’s a particular scene that depicts memories of someone’s life shattering like mirrors above them as they’re dying. It’s just stunning, and it’s not the only beautifully drawn scene. There are plenty of pages in just this first issue that I would happily buy a print of and frame.
From the very first few pages, you understand what kind of comic it is. The title gives it away anyway, but when you pick up something as generic sounding as ‘Reborn’ you think perhaps the publishers are trying to trick you into thinking you know what it is and then pulling the rug out from under you. But no, this is exactly what you think it is. And that’s not a bad thing!
Reborn features a main character who is at the end of her life; she’s old and very wrinkled and on her death bed, and all she can think about is her lost loved ones who have passed on before her. However, she isn’t ready to die just yet, she feels like there’s more to life than just waiting out the clock.
It’s a nice little comic, this one. I think I’ll definitely stick around for issue 2 because, although the story isn’t an unusual one, there are of course a few things that need explaining. Consider my curiosity piqued!
If you appreciate some fine art and a story featuring heavy themes of life and death, this is the one for you.
This story is about a kind of academy in hell, a Hell’s Academy if you will, where Satan is the principal and he orders all of his students – who are demons – to go out into the big bad world and fetch him a soul. I don’t know why the lazy bugger can’t go do it himself, but his soul-stealing days are probably past him. It’s time to train up some little demons!
Right away, there are a few stereotypical characters – the blonde, super hot bitchy type and the nerdy, bespectacled weirdo for instance – but the main character herself, whose name completely eludes me, is very plain. Mostly everyone is forgettable to be honest, which isn’t a good sign for issue 1 of a comic about hell, and the story itself just isn’t strong enough to carry the comic with flat characters.
The main character just straight up isn’t gripping, despite her loud blue hairstyle which reminds me of Sonic the Hedgehog. Seriously, you won’t be able to stop picturing it. She has a few scenes near the end of the comic where you learn a little about her background, but it all just seems so tacked on and forced. Putting it lightly, it’s kind of hard to care about this chick.
Near the end of the comic we find out what the souls actually do and it’s pretty much exactly what you’d expect. Snore.
The verdict? I’m pretty bummed I spent the money on this one. The story/characters might improve in future issues but I’m not willing to spend money to find out!
Give this a miss unless you’re really hard pressed to find a light-hearted comic about Satan/hell.
What have you been reading this week? Let us know in the comments!