Review - The Intrinsic #1

There's a certain comfort in reading a book the brings together characters from across a comic universe. It doubles as both a fan service and a potentially awesome story, putting together personalities that might not otherwise come together. It's also a great way to introduce readers to a new series. Arcana has just that in mind with the release of The Intrinsic #1, the publisher's entry in this year's Free Comic Book Day.

The Intrinsic #1 is written by Sean Patrick O'Reilly, Casey Jones and Erik Hendrix. It's illustrated by Allan Otero, colored by Chandran and lettered by Hendrix.

The first issue is called "Torment" and features Ishmael Stone, on of the order of Philosophers. He's looking for an Intrinsic on Earth, the last one needed to make their defense whole and fight off Apollyon and his oncoming horde. Apollyon (like any good villain) is also looking for the last Intrinsic and unleashes said horde to find them.

The issue ends with both the Philosopher and the horde converging on the Intrinsic, slightly in awe of the rapid string of events that have just unfolded. The closing panel sets up quite a start for the next issue, called "Hope."

The story by O'Reilly, Jones and Hendrix is interesting and galactic. They're working to bring together a lot of characters in the Arcana universe and they do so pretty well. The issue will definitely be a who's who for fans of Arcana who are familiar with their work. It's also accessible to those who aren't so familiar, as the main players are presented very cleanly and the issue clearly defines the good guys and bad guys.

The reveal of the Intrinsic is also something of a misdirect, which was cool. For most of the issue you're lead to believe one person is the Intrinsic based on certain traits, but when push comes to shove and the powers are tested it's the other that reveals them. It's not the most difficult puzzle to solve or anything, but it's likely the writers weren't trying to make it a bigger deal. It's appreciated though they worked in the misdirect as it keeps you interested.

The art and coloring by Otero and Chandran is very superhero oriented. That is, the characters very much have a comic book feel to them. There are a few panels that are essentially brawls that are done quite well and the comic overall has a bombastic color tone to it. It works for the story.

The Intrinsic #1 is a legitimate full issue, despite being released on Free Comic Book Day. That's to say, it's not a six-page prequel or anything. It's a solid first issue that really lays the groundwork for a potentially action-packed series that will bring plenty of Arcana favorites into play. It's definitely worth checking out, both because of the story and because it's free.

The Intrinsic #1 will be available for Free Comic Book Day.