Monday, November 18, 2013

Review - The Quest #1


"Yer all truly Realm Knights of Wonderland?"

How do you handle a swarm of mammoth creatures invading your world, hellbent on destroying everything in their path? Putting together a group of travelers to find a special artifact typically goes a long way in helping counter that madness. Zenescope has a new series in The Quest #1 that looks at such a scenario.

The issue is written by Pat Shand, illustrated by Sergio Osuna and David T. Cabrera, colored by Francesca Zambon and lettered by Jim Campbell.

A company of heroes is required to have a good cast. Comprising the traveling fighters in this story are Blake the True, Bolder the Small, Aisling (Princess of Vallone) and Viscera. The group has been tasked by Nessa--a spirit--to find the Vessel of Gloirana. The artifact has the power to purge the impending evil from the companions' land and it's looking like they've got their work cut out for them in their quest. The stakes are extraordinarily high for them as well, with the safety and stability of their realm hanging in the balance.

Shand was tapped to write The Quest #1 and he's continuing his role as one of the main architects of the Zenescope Universe. The issue rolls up the realms of the other Zenescope titles to raise the stakes even further and Shand has managed to infuse the work with all the trappings of a traditional, fantasy tale. There's a mix of characters, an artifact and a seemingly impossible quest, the combination of which Shand himself even makes fun of to an extent. The story is a little confusing though, especially considering how much Shand is unloading on the reader. There's a lot of backstory introduced in the first few pages prior to settling down in the subsequent pages.

Illustrations are handled by Osuna and Cabrera and they do a reasonable job with them. There are some anatomy issues where characters appear a little disjointed in a sense, which doesn't detract from the book but is a little distracting at times. There are a lot of creative panel layouts, helping to break up the monotony of the standard, grid format. Nessa as a phantasmal player is very well done, offering the reader a great look at a character caught between two worlds. The action scenes rely on a few movements to accent the fighting; eschewing scores of characters that would typically imply a massive melee.

The Quest #1 is the first issue in a new series that ties into the Zenescope universe, but seems to try and distance itself from the primary players. Sure, they all live in the same universe, but the four new characters introduced here are all brand new to the reader. The series is shaping up to be a questing adventure type, making the name especially appropriate. One of the characters mocks their plight in questing and hopefully the series doesn't fall into the formulaic trap. The characters are pretty stereotypical for their roles and there's a chance that Shand offers something that helps differentiate themselves from the standard.

The Quest #1 should be in stores soon.


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