Thursday, September 15, 2016

Review - Scavenger #1 (@Markosia)

"My name is Aidan. This is my story."

The problem with a monarchy is that one person/family is content to make all the decisions, regardless of how those decisions affect the kingdom's inhabitants. When that person making the decisions is violent and reckless, when things crop up in their kingdoms their reaction is a little on the overreacting side. In Scavenger #1 from Markosia, that overreaction includes violent overreach. The issue is written by Kim Roberts and illustrated by Megan Huang.

A young scavenger called Aidan discovers the last remaining plant on Arin and unlocks the secrets to his hidden past and magical abilities. With the help of his robotic companions Squealer and Watson and ancient spirit guide Oya, he embarks on a quest to over throw Lord Karawan and his Seventh Sanctum in the Floating City.

Scavenger #1 focuses a lot on establishing the universe for the characters to inhabit. The planet Arin has a lot to it that demonstrates Roberts' commitment to fleshing out the aforementioned universe and Roberts clearly defines the main protagonist and antagonist. It's their interactions that will definitely move the narrative forward in a positive direction. It's a little surprising to see how ruthless the primary antagonist actually is though and Roberts uses that to establish the book as something a bit more mature. The dialogue exchanged by characters feels a little on the expository side, but Roberts doesn't let it bog down the pacing.

Huang's artwork is pretty spectacular. She illustrates the world of Arin with a style that feels like it falls somewhere between Cartoon Network and an anime. Clear, concise lines define the characters effectively and Huang presents them against relatively simplistic backdrops. Some of the facial expressions feel a little overwrought for some reason--it's as if Huang put too much in them when compared against the less complicated artwork elsewhere. Her colors are a good match for the tone of the story, with certain shades being tied to certain characters in a way that mimics operatic themes.

Roberts ensures there's a healthy bit of science-fiction mixed together in Scavenger #1. The combination of the two is used to very strong effect, with Aidan being presented as an unlikely hero tasked with saving the people. Roberts' script is very easygoing and lays out the stakes quite elegantly. Huang's artwork is ethereal in some ways and lends an innocence to the work that belies the more mature events transpiring on the world of Arin. Scavenger #1 is a simple enough premise that looks to complicate things with some grander ideas and concepts.

Scavenger #1 is available now.


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