Monday, June 4, 2012

Kantara - Issue #1


Creators - Chris Campana and Michael Radosti
Writer - Michael Radosti
Artist - Chris Campana
Colors - Roland Wybranter
Release Date - August 2012
Publisher - Wyrlwynd
Price - $2.99

Imagine that everything you had ever known and loved was taken from you in a sea of blood and fire; a wave of destruction made all the more senseless by the fact your people were innocent of any crime save for being ignorant to what the invaders desire. It's a fantasy plot that has existed since the earliest days - one where the enterprising young adventurer, fueled by the pain of revenge to topple the evil overlord who slew his family with such callous intent. By the end of their journey, the hero has learned that life cannot be all about revenge, and the world is better for the loss of a tyrant who brought stability through rapine, murder and savagery.

And yet... what if the hero could finish his journey before it ever started? What if someone could offer our hero the chance to go back in time and make it so they never suffered their loss? Would he make such a choice, or would the price one would have to pay be too high for anyone to consider?

These are the questions that Kantara, a brand-new fantasy comic book series from Wyrlwynd, hopes to explore and answer. Set in the land of Entalon, Kantara follows a young boy named Ris who suffers the loss of his home, his family, and everything he ever held dear at the hands of raiders working under the self-titled emperor of the land, Lord Orem. In the wake of his anguish, the sole survivor of this village unleashes a blast of magic: a magic that none are supposed to have, save for Lord Orem. Wounded, weary and tired, we are introduced to Ris in Lord Orem's torture chambers as the apparent antagonist is attempting to once more coax the magic into activation. Do these cruel methods work? What was the thing that Orem's men were searching for? Is there any hope for our young protagonist?

Unfortunately for you, dear reader, if I gave you those answers, that would be cheating quite a bit, wouldn't it? Instead, you are going to have to pick up this book and discover the answers for yourself. The first issue, as one would imagine, functions very much as a prologue; setting up the scene and providing a very basic glance at the characters in order to get their personalities. Even in this early preview, there is clearly more to these characters, even our main antagonist, than meets the eye, and I'm curious as to see what happens next. One look at Orem's titles already gives hints that there is more to him than just being the crazy blue bad guy our hero is going to have to defeat.

The artwork is vibrant and detailed, and has a constant flow of motion that makes it so dynamic. There's a fair level of dirt and grit to the artwork but the colors keep everything from looking too dark and muted.

Characters display very realistic emotions, and a lot of attention is placed not just in the expressions, but the eyes as well. This helps convey what the character is feeling and makes them appear to be more than just figures in the story.

This would normally be the time that I would discuss the world, magic, and everything else that goes into making the grand epic, but as this is the first issue in a traditional comic format, then it would be impossible for me to judge those things on any level of detail. Suffice to say, I am happy with what I have seen and the hints that have been dropped.

Overall, Kantara Issue 1 receives a solid 4.5/5 - it offers the same sort of story we've seen before from the fantasy genre, but the promise of more to come and unique twist and turns has made me intrigued. If you're in the market for a good fantasy comic series, this is definitely one worth checking out.

Also, feel free to check out the short video I did with the creators of Kantara:



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