It’s of my opinion that Brandon Graham is the most interesting comic creator today. His creator owned series like Multiple Warheads and Prophet are not only science fiction visions like no other, they’re also incredibly fascinating for any genre.
The guy simply owns at drawing and has great ideas. When Image Comics revealed he’d be teaming up with four different creators to make four science-fiction/fantasy miniseries all set in the same world I was already sold. But of course, an idea may not be as good as the execution… is it good?
8house: Arclight #1 (Image Comics)
Out June 24th at comic shops, this is a very interesting first issue to say the least. Though the press info on this series so far states these miniseries are about eight houses who rule over the world you wouldn’t know that from this first issue. Of course, any story worth its salt doesn’t reveal everything in its first issue and in fact there’s a sense of mystery cast over this series’ pages.
The story opens with two characters travelling for miles seeking something that has magic. The characters are solemn and odd, and one has a face of what looks like branches. We follow their quiet roaming quest and come upon oddities that explain the world in a sense, but not fully. In this exploration the reader is drawn in and captivated, from compelling architecture to what a magic act could mean.
Like any good science fiction story there’s a larger world here that’s interesting and fleshed out. There is no heavy handed exposition or narration to explain things and instead the story takes its time to reveal things when it’s ready. In this approach it makes the reader honor its pace and not take it for granted. From the obviously complicated political system to a strangely personal relationship between its protagonists, you’ll want to learn more but will be fine with its pace.
One might argue this issue is boring as not a lot happens, but there’s something brewing under its pages that should keep the imaginative reader interested. The slow pace almost enhances the undercurrent of dread that most assuredly is coming.
The art by Marian Churchland and Brandon Graham is very whimsical. The backgrounds are painterly and drawn with care as if to suggest the world itself is delicate. The characters are very basic and almost bland, but their dialogue solidifies the characters in their calmness. The color used is also basic, but this only aids in making the magical elements pop.
Is It Good?
As first issues go there’s just enough to make you understand the characters, introduce the world and get you excited for what looms in the shadows. Knowing there are more issues and 3 more miniseries to come there’s a promise of a much bigger story to be told, but it’s patience slow start is appreciated. This is a story that needs to be thought about.
Arclight is a story of solemn grace that gently pulls you into its story titillating your imagination and makes you want more.