Review - Skin & Earth #1 (@DynamiteComics)

Climate change is a very real phenomenon in the world. The data can be disputed by just about anyone, but by and large there's truth to the notion that humans are having an impact on the world's climate. That premise is in full force in Skin & Earth #1 from Dynamite Comics. The issue is written and illustrated by Lights.

Skin & Earth is a story of a girl looking for hope in a hopeless world. Caught between romance and cults, gods and mortals, and just trying to find a good borscht, Enaia Jin is lead down a dark path by new lovers that reveal a twisted fantasy world and her own true nature. Set in a post-apocalyptic future where corporations rule, this adventurous tale of loneliness, deceit and self-discovery begins here!

Enaia Jin is essentially an outcast attempting to make it in a seemingly foreign world, although Lights reminds the reader that the world really isn't that far-fetched. The premise behind Skin & Earth #1 touches on environmental and acceptance issues as Lights uses the former to drive the latter. The first issue unfolds in a way that's very steady and gives the reader enough to understand what's happening without going overboard as far as the history of the story goes. What works really well is how Lights takes the reader along with Enaia through one of her typical days as a means of showing what she (and the world at large) have to contend with. Lights also gives the book plenty of heart through Enaia's responses to both worlds around her in that she responds by adapting and taking things as they come.

The artwork in Skin & Earth #1 is ethereal in many regards. Lights renders each character with concise linework that gives everything a uniform appearance. This approach is even more impactful as the book progresses in that Lights doesn't oversaturate panels with immense detail; rather, she lets the characters stand out and further reinforces Enaia's loneliness. Panels offer interesting perspectives of the action as Lights focuses on particular actions for effect, such as close-ups of a phone as Enaia is awaiting a call. The color range by Lights offer a pinkish hue for the most part that fits in with the larger, environmental driving forces behind the story.

Skin & Earth #1 is a fantastic first issue that focuses on the impact humanity has on the environment and the resulting consequences. Enaia is fighting for something better, even if that means dealing with the same people responsible for her current predicament. Lights' script is straightforward and engaging, building Enaia up as a hero to root for. The linework and colors by Lights are very formal in a way that bolsters the somewhat regimented society the characters live in. Skin & Earth #1 is worth checking out for something new that looks at a future that's entirely possible if we keep on our current path.

Skin & Earth #1 is available now.