Inspired by the morning sketches from artists like Skottie Young and Chris Samnee, I’m going to try to write daily blog posts to help clear the fogs out of my head and hopefully make the rest of the workday more productive. Here’s my idea for a weekly series about something a story (usually a comic) did to impress me.
It was a light comics week for me, but I was really excited to try out Umbral. I haven’t read a lot from Antony Johnston, but I like what I have, and I agreed with the sensibilities he expressed on Kieron Gillen’s Decompressed podcast. Plus, I’m always in the mood for world building fantasy, so Umbral seemed right up my alley. Warning: some spoilers follow for the first issue.
Action- and fantasy-driven stories are almost always driven by a male protagonist, and Johnston and Mitten deceive us into thinking that principle will hold true here. After a teaser we are introduced Arthrir, a young prince and Rascal, a girl we know little of beyond that she possesses a source of power called Mist stored on her necklace. They discuss how Arthrir uses the Mist to perform magic, essentially demonstrating Rascal as simply a conduit for the male character to take action. Arthrir gave Rascal (and in turn, us) background about the world made him the keeper of knowledge, and knowledge is power/dominance. But then, when a ghoul finds them in a hidden part of the castle…
Arthrir is neatly disposed of. He served his purpose: exposition, paving the way for Rascal to do her thing. I’m excited for the issues to come where I expect her to take center stage like she does in the last 14 pages of #1.
Rating: None, because grading a story is kinda lame