Monday, July 9, 2018

Review - The Immortal #1 (@215Ink)


"So you want to live forever. Are you willing to pay the price?"

A lot of people will tell you that if they could have any superpower, regeneration would be the one. Those people might be less inclined to say so if they lose a bit of their memory every time they come back. In The Immortal #1 from 215Ink, Z is faced with such a dilemma. The issue is written and illustrated by Darryl Knickrehm.

The Immortal follows a human bounty hunter with the ability to be resurrected when killed in the line of duty. The only drawback? Each time he resurrects, another piece of his memory falls away. This monumental, character-driven mystery will center around Z and his hunt for those responsible for the annihilation of the human race.

Knickrehm's premise in The Immortal #1 certainly isn't new, but the twist on it is pretty refreshing. Z is the last human in existence who has the ability to regenerate and Knickrehm ups the ante by having him lose some of his memory every time he comes back. Knickrehm's script is predicated on this notion and he uses it well by essentially having Z learn what's going on alongside the reader learning. Z is very much a roguish thief character and Knickrehm isn't shy about leaning into those characteristics to set the tone for the overall story. Knickrehm has an end-game in mind as Z struggles to find out who/what he's already experienced, yet there's a certain bit of levity added through the dialogue that keeps what could easily be an intense tale light.

The black and white approach in the issue is an interesting one. Knickrehm's choice for a lack of color does well to symbolize the gray area that Z exists in--one that's rife with villains and bad guys. Knickrehm's linework is very clean and concise throughout the issue, presenting a very organized presentation of characters and events. The panels are defined by slightly thicker lines and everything feels very framed. There are some panels where Knickrehm fills most of the panel with blackness which affords the characters colored white to stand out that much more.

The Immortal #1 is a new take on science-fiction. Z is forced to reconcile being the last human with being one who can regenerate, two characteristics that may seem like they work well together but might not in the end. Knickrehm's script is fluid and engaging, providing an abundance of story without hitting the reader over the head with the details. Knickrehm's artwork is very rigid in a good way; it does a great job of capturing the events as they unfold. The Immortal #1 is a pretty fun and engaging book that turns certain conventions on their head.

The Immortal #1 is available in August.

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