We’ve read stories about traveling back in time. We’ve read stories about traveling into the future. However in Rafael Albuquerque’s (American Vampire) new series Ei8ht, chrononaut Joshua finds himself trapped somewhere in another dimension altogether. Welcome to the Meld. Is it good?
Ei8ht #1 (Dark Horse Comics)
Several years ago, Alburquerque published a Brazilian webcomic called Tune 8 which was never finished. Now, having teamed up with co-writer Mike Johnson (who he worked with during his Batman/Superman run) the creative duo have completely rebooted the concept and have transformed it into a sci-fi thriller published by Dark Horse. A bit different from Albuquerque’s previous works, Ei8ht documents the journey of Joshua as he attempts to piece his memory back together after crash landing in a time travelling device. With only the knowledge of his name and his trans-time communicator (Set to channel 8), Joshua has to determine where he is, survive the land’s inhabitant, and recall why he’s there in the first place.
Albuquerque stated in an interview that he was inspired by 80’s and 90’s entertainment and those themes are apparent in Ei8ht’s first issue. Similar to what we saw in American Vampire, Albuquerque is able to transform his artistic style to match the tone of the comic. The color scheme consists of just a handful of colors: light blue, peach, lime green, and a pale red. It’s hard to critique the art; all the panels are well detailed and shaded and convey that retro sci-fi motif that makes this comic so appealing.
The storyline itself is reminiscent of something out of Tales of an Imperfect Future, or a Ray Bradbury short story. The Meld is an extremely attractive concept considering the fact THERE ARE PEOPLE RIDING DINOSAURS. It’s like Dinotopia! What more can you ask for? The dual storylines between the Meld and the past (or…recently past…technically present) provide a lot of potential between Joshua’s mission in the Meld and the agreement he has back at his present. It provides enough mystery to get you hooked, but not enough to leave you frustrated (…Nameless cough cough).
Is It Good?
Ei8ht kicks off to an exciting first issue that demands your attention from start to finish. It’s one of the most enjoyable reads I’ve had so far this year and the story is incredibly well-structured so you get the comic’s plot without getting an overtly-wordy explanation. Keep your eye on this series because I have a feeling it’s going places.