As we face the current line-up at your local comic shop, does this story even garner attention? Is it something that the the fan community can embrace? Or is it forced to wander until it finds itself lost in wilderness? Read on to find out.
The official description from Creative Mind Energy:
On an earth laid waste by humanity’s violence, abuse, and exploitation, life is failing. A wolf, starved and broken, hunts for food amid the barren landscape. Drawn to an industrial plant at the fringe of a city, the wolf discovers a chance. But humans protect what they believe they own. Wounded and dying, the wolf seeks shelter. What he finds, however, proves far more powerful: a gift that he will have to use, in order to bring color back to the world.
There’s a lot that can be said about this piece but let me first be a little frank: it’s amazing. I found myself instantly enthralled with its narrative as a striking package captured my imagination in a way that made me feel like a young boy peeling back his first comic book. That might sound like overactive hyperbole but that is the emotion that washed over me nonetheless. With that said, it wasn’t a perfect outing but it certainly peaked my interest from the first page to the final panel.
As candid as I was above, let me levy my one gripe in regards to the work, and sadly it falls on the shoulders of the script. For better or worse there’s very little dialogue found within the confines of this epic , as sound effects and atmospheric occurrences carry the brunt of our protagonist’s transition from beast to sentient thought. Truth be told, despite that fact, Damien A. Wassel and Andrew Wilson manage to deliver raw thoughts and feelings, by allowing these scenarios to evolve on their own merits. It’s a push and pull between what we’ve come to expect from literary material such as this and what we’re actually being given. For the majority of the romp it works, as I felt genuine concern for the wolf then wonder when it became something more. In short: the story is original but I think a little more meat would have done it some good.
Nathan C. Gooden handles the visual side of this equation and the burgeoning talent not only uses a style that’s largely unique, he embraces illustrations that evoke simple beauty. I was caught off guard by the steady use of water colors, as the comic slowly but surely introduced elements that brought this adventure to a fitting cliffhanger. I have to remark on the use of negative space, there’s quite a bit, and to some that might be rather off putting but the talent uses that to his advantage. He finds a way to make it accessible without allowing these virtually empty areas to feel underused. The body of work in the end comes off as memorable, while it easily amplifies any text on the page.
The entirety of the package is set up like a graphic novel, as an impressive display captures the essence of ideas which, I think, perfectly suites what this company is trying to do. It’s different, and trust me, I found that to be a great thing. This is not your typical yarn that relies on an overabundance of words to explain its motives or intent. Instead this is a release that pushes ideas with just enough context to make the whole of the experience worthwhile as it survives continual inspection.
On my first read through I thought there were a couple overly confusing transitions but thanks to the work of the creative team I became lost again with the barrage of imagery that tickled my fancy in ways I did not expect. I said above it’s not perfect, and I stand by that fact, but for the most part the team delivers on their goals while giving eager fanboys as well as fangirls exactly what they need even if they themselves don’t know it. To sum up: they did their job right, even if there were shortcomings they never prevented the book from soaring, especially by the time it reached its conclusion.
The Gifted, Issue 1 is something that’s hard to describe except to say that it is a rare cut above the rest. From the written word to the renditions lavishly put to the test, the bold property evokes raw emotion while offering a thrilling display. Recommended.