…or the devils you know.
Anyone would be remiss if they didn’t include the team behind a project. After all, it takes village to raise a child, and it takes a team to make a comic, and this team has it all put together nicely.
Last time, I went over the technical stuff and the overall gist of the first issue putting my thoughts throughout.
This time, I will do the same, but look into the story a little more. I am a writer, and I love good writing, but how good is the writing?
Read on and see, my friend.
The advantage of having an immortal protagonist is the world building that takes place is in the main character’s point of view. There are many ways to world build, but listening to a story told by someone who has experienced it is akin to the difference between learning what happened in WWII and listening to a veteran of that war recount what they went through. The depth of lore crafting and world building takes on a new meaning when someone has been there.
Sitting at the Bar
Dear Jack is still recounting his life, but with different feel this time. He is talking about what he has witnessed in a way that takes us through the history of an earth in a different plane of existence but with eerily familiar scenarios that will strike a chord with the reader.
Cody is one of those people you would want to sit with around a camp fire and spin a tale.
The Four Horsemen with a Twist
There are many ways of spinning an apocalyptic tale. There are many theological ways the world ends. The most famous of these are the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse:
In this issue, we are introduced to them, but instead of them being foretold and appearing at an appointed time due to a religious tome, Cody weaves the fact all four were created by our own vices, fears, and greed, a twist I can’t help but smile about. This is a great way to take an old myth and change it without making it completely different.
A Story with Pictures
I love a good story, and when the art and coloring go hand-in-hand with the tale told, it can really pull you in and keep you there. As Cody weaves the world through words, the artists drive the history of the world home and how it came to be as it is now.
We also learn more about who Jack is and what he does.
The Parallels Drawn
I can’t help but think that our current events somehow shaped the story within the book’s pages. However, it is written within the lore and history of the world in the comic without real-world references. Dare I say it’s a metaphor done masterfully?
Let’s Talk About Setting
May the creators forgive me for leaving in the dialogue, but I do it for a reason.
As Jack waxes poetically telling his tale of centuries past, we are reminded that he is still in bar telling this tale. Every so often, we get a scene that plays out with the characters in the background. This, in my opinion, adds to the feel of the comic and sets you firmly in the world itself.
When writing a story that is gritty and serious one would think humor would not have a place. Oh contraire. It most certainly does, but inserting it into a gritty story can be difficult. You don’t want to break immersion or feel, which can happen if the tone changes suddenly, but here Cody does it well. I chuckled. This was a well done break in the world building tale.
A Tale Within a Tale
I have spoken of flashbacks as exposition. There are some who do it well, and some who overuse them. In this case, I almost forgot Jack was still in the bar as he recounts what happened when he lost his way, literally-not figuratively.
This is a flashback that continues on after the subtle humor and provides a tone shift and color shift that is welcome.
We meet the mysterious chanting person at the start of the comic when it is coming to its end. We learn that magic is in the world as well.
Was this another exposition dump? Yes, but instead of being told and becoming uninterested, I was SHOWN the history he has lived through and his way to spinning a yarn held me to the end.
I do so love good world building and lore crafting, and this issue had both.
I give the issue 5 out of five espresso shots.
Until Next time,
Anissa “Maddy” Walker