Monday, April 30, 2018

Review - Ether: Copper Golems #1 (@DarkHorseComics)


"Boone. Come on. You been bailed out."

Interdimensional travel takes its toll on the traveler. Whether it be disparities between the two worlds traveled or just the act of traveling, those trips add up. For Boone in Ether: Copper Golems #1 Dark Horse Comics the trips add up, but there are ways to mitigate their effect. The issue is written by Matt Kindt, illustrated by David Rubin and flatted by Kiko J. Diaz.

Portals between Earth and the Ether begin to crack open unleashing devastating magical fury on our planet and only adventurer Boone Dias can seal the breaches. In order to put an end to this chaos, Boone recruits a powerful team of mystical beings including a grumpy, spell-writing fairy; a bickering, lavender gorilla; and a bull-headed, motorcycling spell-hacker. These heroes set off on a journey taking the reader through the center of volcanoes, deserts full of living mummies and sphinxes, and a bizarre fairy forest in an effort to save both worlds from complete destruction!

There's a pre-canned history involved in the Ether that Kindt draws upon for Ether: Copper Golems #1 without making the book entirely inaccessible to new readers. In fact, much of the issue is spent giving the reader a glimpse into the inner-workings of the Ether portals and Kindt does it in a way that provides context for the current series as well. The dialogue is pretty fast-moving throughout the issue, lending to the book a pretty frenetic pace. Kindt knows the story he wants to tell and does so exceptionally smoothly, giving Boone (and the reader) a varied group of teammates who will provide entertainment throughout the series. The end of the issue is a somewhat oddly placed flashback though that Kindt draws upon for one of the main characters; still, it's pretty effective at what it sets out to do.

Jumping between Earth and the Ether brings with it a requisite amount of oddities and Rubin captures those strange individuals very well. Boone is illustrated with an immense amount of grizzliness and grit, as Rubin uses very coarse shading and linework throughout the issue. The magical creatures Boone encounters in the Ether are almost perverse takes on what typically passes for something like a fairy and Rubin's look works well for the recklessness of the issue. Most of the book is illustrated with clean panels surrounded by thick, white gutters, but there are occasions when Rubin skews perspective and angles a bit. The colors represent the entire spectrum and infuse the Ether with an abundantly foreign feel.

Ether: Copper Golems #1 is a fast-moving first issue that gets where it wants to be by the end. Boone never seems to tire of traveling to the Ether and it's clear to the reader that he values those trips above even his family's well-being. Kindt's script is pretty seamless and easy to follow. Rubin's artwork is the right amount of wrong considering the content of the issue and the overall tone of the series. Ether: Copper Golems #1 is definitely worth picking up when it hits stores if you want a slightly different type of fantasy tale.

Ether: Copper Golems #1 is available May 16.

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