AfterShock comics describes Betrothed as Archie meets Saga. Those are big shoes to fill, but if they can pull it off I think more comics mixing those two things is a great thing. Let’s dive in — is it good?
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
Welcome to the World of Betrothed! Kieron and Tamara are both seniors at the same high school. They’ve never paid much attention to each other, even though they are the only kids at school who are orphans. On the eve of their eighteenth birthdays, they discover a lifelong secret: in a dimension far away, they are each the leader of an army that is at war with one another…and what’s more, when they turn eighteen, they’re to be Betrothed or Fight to the Death!
Why does this matter?
Sean Lewis wrote a solid series with The Few and artist Steve Uy has lended his hands to Uncanny X-Men and Avengers Initiative. Sounds like we’re in good hands. Also, if you dig Romeo and Juliet you’ll probably dig this.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
The main characters Kieron and Tamara are fighting one minute and, well, possibly falling in love the next. Lewis does a good job establishing the conflict between the characters, but also the confusion of their attraction. It’s not till midway through we learn about another world, a people who are always at war, and how these two kids may be the only way to solve it. It’s via their connection that it may remind some of Saga, although at this juncture the world outside Earth hasn’t been shown enough to really gather how alien it is. That said, the stakes are made clear by the end of the issue.
The art by Steve Uy has a simple and almost cartoon-like look that makes the work look a bit manga inspired. The use of color is a highlight, be it the blue waterfall where a confrontation takes place, or the light emanating out of the main characters as they travel home.
If this is Saga, where are all the crazy aliens?
It can’t be perfect can it?
This issue establishes the basics, but it doesn’t do a lot of fleshing out. The other world, for instance, is viewed mostly under the cover of a waterfall with a mostly humanoid people and no other creatures to speak of. The main characters are also rather basic with little in the way of understanding who they are. That’s in part due to the plotting which opens with an attention-grabbing sequence but then cuts to them sleeping, rushing to a call to action, and then being blasted presumably to another planet. We can’t really gather much from what we’re given.
Is It Good?
An interesting premise that sets the stage, but it’s too early to tell who the characters are or how rich the alien world will be as little time is spent fleshing them out.