Rapture#1 (of 4)
Written by: Matt Kindt
Colours: Andrew Dalhouse
Letters: Dave Sharpe
Publisher: Valiant Entertainment
The Deadside. A nether-world where the deceased, the astral voyagers and geomancers alike, trawl the spectral terrain for answers; a hostile environment where grotesque lifeforms dominate and only the expertly-versed can negotiate survival. The Deadside. A world that smells of burning eggs. This is where Kindt (Sweet Tooth, Ninjak) opens this much anticipated short run. He brings together the time-travelling geomancer Tama, Ninjak, Shadowman and Punk Mambo, on a quest to help battle a foe named Babel who ultimately wants to overrun heaven.
Upon opening, prepare to be grabbed by CAFU’s (Superman, Rai) artwork. This is the work of an artist who has been busy honing his skills at Valiant over the last few years. Even though his work here falls on the cartoon-like, there are layers that add realism that renders it next-level; check out his mist-work in The Deadside, for example. The pencilling may look a little casual, with incomplete lines and shading apparently creating atmosphere but the devil really is in the detail here. The wow-factor of the floating tree and the Tower of Babel itself showcase his true talent.
His characters’ faces are full of expression, without being cliched, with his work on eyes is as good as the best in the business. All of this is matched by Dalhouse’s colouring which carries through a blue-based hue almost throughout. These blue hues aid the other-worldliness of the book and where the storlyline takes us to the modern day, the London cityscape by night is stunning in its realism.
Lettering is, on the whole, unobtrusive, which is no mean feat considering the need to heavily contextualise the readers in the opening pages. Non speech boxes stand apart due to their unusual colour-coding and this, perhaps unintentionally, gives them scroll-like qualities, and this in turn matches the storyline.
As previously mentioned, this stand-alone series has been hotly anticipated and it’s easy to see why. The magic combination of artists that make up the team have got it very right. The storyline is epic in its undertaking, the characters are deep and complex, and the artwork will make you smile. Like a fine Pinot Noir, I’m looking forward to a second glass.
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Review written by Arun S.