Right off the bat, I have to say that it appears as though artist Dustin Nguyen supplied his own colors for this issue (as no colorist is mentioned in the book). If that is the case, then that was a bad, bad idea, as the colors are just awful on this comic book. Just awful.
And it’s a shame, as I’m a fan of Nguyen’s art, which otherwise is pretty good in this issue, but it is just drowned in some terrible coloring.
However, don’t let that put you off from the comic (unless you have a personal problem with bad comic book coloring), as writer Scott Lobdell has created a very interesting set-up with this comic book, and has given us characters interesting enough that, if certain characters meet certain fates, we would be disappointed in seeing them meet said fate.
In any event, the basic concept is that it is the future, and Earth has taken the concept of Manifest Destiny to a whole different level, as they’ve basically conquered the universe. However, in doing so, they’ve pissed off another universe, a universe of magic. This sets up the confrontation – a universe of advanced science versus a universe of magic. Who will win? Magic or science?
Jeph Loeb should take note, as writer Scott Lobdell does a very nice job of using caption trickery to tell the story in the comic, as the early pages of the comic are made up of two people (using different color caption boxes) having a conversation about the two main characters, and as the one person tells the other person about the past of the two main characters, the panels of the comic SHOWS us that past. It’s quite effective, especially when Lobdell carries the conversation on later in the comic between the two, when they’re talking about less exposition-y things.
There IS one screw-up, I think. Amusingly enough, I think it is a coloring mistake, as at one point, it appear as though a red caption box is accidentally colored blue. It’s not a big mistake, but it throws the story off for a sec while the reader is confused as to who is talking – which is fairly important when you’re telling a story through a dialogue.
In any event, the two main characters are High Admiral Kyle Bozydej and Ambassador Tarkington, who now, decades later (in the future, people live much longer – in fact, through his willingness to embrace technology, Tarkington looks much younger than he actually is), find themselves at the head of a vast empire, but surrounded with assimilated aliens that Bozydej spent years fighting. Now his crew is made up of mostly them! In fact, in the first issue, his granddaughter (one half of the captions) introduces him to her fiancee, an alien (the other half of the captions).
The ending of the issue debates whether we will get to see this story play out, but I hope so, because Lobdell did a good job in making me care about these characters in such a short period of time.
Meanwhile, Nguyen does a very nice job depicting the forces of the magic realm. Some clever stuff involved in their attack on the vast starship the action takes place aboard.
So yeah, I would recommend this issue, with the reservation that the coloring, I thought, was quite poor.
Thansk to the good folks at DC for sending me a review copy of Manifest Eternity #1!
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