In the first issue of Mulan Revelations, we’re introduced to Mulan and her cyberpunk world. Is it good?
Mulan: Revelations #1 (Dark Horse Comics)
We open in 500 B.C. China, where a bloody battle is raging between demons and spirit beings, with humans joining in the fray on both sides. The spirits are trying to protect an archive, and to do that, they snatch our hero, Mulan, from the battlefield and fill her with some sort of spirit power.
Slam to Shanghai A.D. 2125. Mulan is a rich citizen of the highest class in China, and apparently totally unaware of her past life or incarnation. In this cyberpunk world, the classes are completely separate even by law – when Mulan is injured at a “low level” clinic, the doctors there legally can’t heal her beyond giving her a bandage.
Worst of all, a techno-plague is sweeping the globe, causing people’s bodies to reject implanted technology, killing them. We learn that 80% of the world’s population has some kind of implant, so this plague is a major threat.
The demons we met earlier in the book are still around in this world, and since the plague has recently jumped species, they are also in danger. And Mulan holds the key to a possible vaccine, making her a cog in many plots.
Is It Good?
I’m a big fan of cyberpunk and this book ups the ante by throwing in mysticism and monsters, along with the hyper technology and world deterioration. This first issue does a great job of establishing the world without spelling out all the rules, and lays the groundwork for a rich story and depth of characters.
Mulan is a fascinating historical character, and bringing her into this future world opens up some tantalizing possibilities. I’m hoping for more flashbacks to the classic period, along with the cyperpunk future.
The art is what raises the level of this book. The writing is solid, but the art is just gorgeous. From the just bloody enough action sequences, to the incredibly detailed backgrounds of the future world, Kaneshiro knocks it out of the park. The coloring could use a little more pop, but a muted palette does suit the world.
Overall, a fantastic setup to a very promising series.