Sunday, December 4, 2016

Ether #1 Review

"Ether" #1 from Dark Horse Comics -

     In the near future, Earth has discovered magic. Real, true magic. But one man doesn't believe in magic, or faith, or anything except numbers, data, information...FACTS. Dr. Boon Dias uses the Crossroads, a gateway between Earth and the magical realm of The Ether, to enter the mystical metropolis called Agartha in order to suss out the science behind what Earthmen call magic. After many forays into The Ether and Agartha, Boon has made some friends, some acquaintances...And some enemies. Boon's insatiable scientific curiosity has made him somewhat famous in Agartha as he was able to use science to follow clues and solve crimes that the supernatural citizens of the city just weren't equipped to handle. When the mighty protector of the Ether, The Blaze, is assassinated in a puzzling manner, Boon is summoned by the mayor of Agartha to find her killer. Boon, and his friend, Glum, The Gatekeeper of the Crossroads, are hot on the trail of the murderer - but they already have a suspect, and he is the most learned, most dangerous man in Agartha. Can Boon and Glum reach the end of this case successfully...Or will the case end them once and for all?

   Matt Kindt puts his creative genius to work to build a fun fantasy realm in "Ether" #1. Kindt gives us a protagonist that takes a while to grow on you in Boon Dias. He is a bit of a butthole, concerned mostly with mapping out the science behind the magic, and little else. It takes us a while to really be captivated by the zany genius of Boon simply because Kindt chooses to show his character through action and dialogue rather than using captions to give us a glimpse into his inner workings. However, once Boon gets going, it is a lot of fun - like watching a mix of Sherlock Holmes and The Doctor thrust into a realm of magic to solve crimes that simply don't follow the physical laws of our universe. Kindt builds an otherworldly realm that seems pulled right out of a child's wildest dream, full of wonder and strange, but mostly friendly, characters. It is an interesting world, but there aren't many particulars about it just yet, which makes me think that Kindt was more focused on the story than the world where it takes place. I hope that changes. Kindt taps David Rubin to build his crazy magical world, and Rubin hit the perfect tone with his pencils - his work is wild, over-the-top, and cartoony. It is a joy to see page after page. Kindt and Rubin may just have created a fun, and slightly tragic, character and a mystical realm of mysteries and marvels that have the potential to captivate readers for years to come. I love this book - and I love the fact that I can share it with my daughter. Perfect.

RATING: 10 out of 10. This property "movie / TV show" written all over it.

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