[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writers: Cary Nord, and Steve Orlando
Inks: Wade von Grawbadger
Colors: Jeromy Cox
As Firebrand and Neon the Unknown try to learn more about the disaster they find themselves in, we get to learn more about Neon the Unknown’s past. Plus, Onimar Synn sends his general to get his hands on more Nth metal. This might be the hardest test for Firebrand’s conflict engine yet!
Every comic has its design and its execution. It is very clear that the authors designed this book to be new and different in every way, and it often comes through brilliantly. Artistically the issue revolves around this gray, turquoise, and orange color pallete that moves towards warmer colors when focused on the heroes and cooler colors when focused on the villains. They are really unique choices that I haven’t seen often, and I love how this comic looks. In addition, all of the characters have great designs. Most of these characters, with the exception of Onimar Synn, are original characters, and each one is a home run for me. Big props to Wade von Grawbadger and Jeremy Cox for a visually spectacular issue.
As for the story, I see what they are trying to do here, and I admire it. There is a lot of Nth metal mythos that still needs to be created and this book is going to needs some time to do that. I think that Neon’s backstory is well told, and it shows that Steve Orlando and Cary Nord have some great talent in creating original characters. I think that something special is forming here, and I can’t wait to see what comes next as they fold in more depth to these newer characters.
Unfortunately, the execution of this issue is lacking quite a bit for me. Killing those working with Neon is a bold move, and his devastation comes through just fine, but it doesn’t hit home as much as it would if these characters were a little more developed. The haze of sadness that Neon finds himself in during this issue came off more as frustrating for me than deeply saddening. Also General Phade is sort of a walking trope. Having the main villain send a general to do their dirty work while proving themselves has been done so many times, and having her say things like, “Your doubt is misplaced,” just adds to the cliche.
This comic is going to take a little while to get going, but I am a patient man so it’s okay. I know that something this unique will definitely be worth the wait.