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Written by Kelly Thompson
Art and Colors by Meredith McClaren
Letters by Becca Carey
Edits by Charles Beacham
Design by Rian Hughes
Published by Image Comics

“Eisner Award-winning writer KELLY THOMPSON heads to Image for the first time with BLACK CLOAK, an all-new series with artist MEREDITH McCLAREN! Blade Runner style mixes with SAGA-esque drama in a delectable fantasy/sci-fi blend as two Black Cloaks try to solve the murder of a beloved prince in Kiros, the last city in the known world, before his murder tips the city into war.”

My first impression when reading this issue was, “Is this the new Saga??” This was such an incredible read and a brilliant start to a new world being built by Kelly Thompson and Meredith McClaren! In just one issue, they have built up an incredible fantasy world full of wonderful creatures, political intrigue, and murder! I haven’t felt this happy exploring a new world since I read Saga issue one. I love Kelly Thompson’s writing already, so getting an indie creation from her is just what I needed.

Meredith McClaren’s artwork relies on more simplistic backgrounds that draw the reader’s attention more to the characters’ expressions and the emotional state that they are in throughout the story. Despite the more simplistic backgrounds I still left this issue feeling like the world was well described and depicted.

Utilizing the first page as a splash page of the overall city diagram was helpful to set the scene and really pull the reader into the world. Meredith also pulls double-duty on colors that showcase the muted tones of the urban city mixed with the brilliant colors of the citizens and the palace. As with any good colorist, red is often used to indicate violence or threats to our characters and draws the readers’ attention to this.

The lettering work done by Becca Care is top-notch. I love the use of colors around the balloons for the distressed mermaids, the colors behind the balloons that match the noise canceling headphones worn when Phaedra and Pax walk near the mermaid’s water, and overall balloon placement and sound effect placement really complete this world and provide a more immersive reading experience.

This story has it all packed into it. Issue one is a triple-sized issue, which gives the story time to take hold and makes you sit impatiently for issue two. I never knew I needed to know what crying mermaids would look and sound like, but I think my life is now complete as I experienced a new kind of suffering. This story will get an emotional hold on you as delve into the world and meet our very interesting main characters, Phaedra and Pax. There are secrets buried in every corner of this comic and as the mystery builds up throughout this issue I am giddy to continue reading this when issue two releases.

If you’re looking for a new fantasy/sci-fi world, with a mystery-based plot, a fantastical police department, and great character development, then you need to check out Black Cloak #1!

Rating: 10/10

Black Cloak #1 is out in shops everywhere now!


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