Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Namesake #1 Review

"Namesake" #1 from BOOM! Studios -

      The Blessing has come. Every seven years, Earth is able to come into perfect dimensional alignment with Ektae, a world where magic and alchemy are not only commonplace, they are the driving forces behind it's economic and political might. The night of the Blessing is always out of control - humans head to Ektae and some from Ektae come to Earth in an unbridled, and often dangerous, exchange of magic and sexual energies. Jordan Molossus is a fireman tasked with saving lives from dangers of both normal and magical causes. But Jordan has a secret: he was an orphan of both Ektae and Earth, having one parent from each planet, both of which abandoned him. Having received a cryptic message from one of his long-lost, now dead, parents, Jordan sets off to Ektae to fulfill a final request: to bury his parents together on Ektae. But Jordan may be the one who ends up buried on Ektae - he's carrying the ashes of his dead parents in iron balls, a substance emphatically outlawed on Ektae, and he's got a price on his head, a price offered by a very dangerous man. 

    Steve Orlando scribes "Namesake" #1 from BOOM! Studios. It's a science-fiction/fantasy piece that feels a bit like Blade Runner (in certain panels) because of Jakub Rebelka's artwork that is alternately moody and gritty, then overly cartoony and stiff. And honestly, Rebelka's artwork is the highlight of this book, because as hard as I looked, I could not find any way to be interested in the characters, nor the story. Orlando attempts to build his world by throwing us right into the story, which is a great technique, but along the way we are offered very little backstory about the Earth and Ektae's ties and how they came to be. Neither are we offered a coherent backstory on the protagonist, just the fact that his parents were of both worlds, that he's a gruff fireman, and that someone really bad with magic powers wants the dirty done on him. These things may work well to start off a film where the gaps get filled in pretty quickly, but in a 22-page comic everything seems rushed, disjointed, and a bit pointless. The most important part, the development of a connection between the reader and the characters, is totally neglected, just nonexistent. I knew why Jordan Molossus was headed to Ektae, I just didn't care about him, nor his quest. I really just wanted this book to be over - and it is rare that I feel in such a way. I cannot recommend this book, neither will I be sticking around for any further issues. It is a shame. "Namesake" seems to have such potential, but you just have got to stick the landing on that first issue. Not feeling it.

RATING: 4 out of 10. 

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