Thursday, December 11, 2008

Ythaq: The Forsaken World #1 (of 3)

Christopher Arleston & Adrien Floch
Another Soleil title published in the US by Marvel Comics debuted this week in comic shops, the three issue mini-series Ythaq: The Forsaken Planet by French creators Alreston and Floch. The first issue of the book follows a dedicated but lax soldier, astronavigation lieutenant Granite Welgoat. Sentenced to work the bar on a spaceship for oversleeping once again, Granite finds herself amongst a young maintenance man (Narvarth) and a gold digging snooty woman (Callista) when the spaceship crashes upon an uncharted planet. Together, the three brave the natives they encounter and befriend local chronicler Tao, who helps guide them to a local city where another piece of their spacecraft has crashed. Making things more difficult for them on their quest to locate other survivors of the crew is a group of evil creatures searching for "the aliens" at whatever cost, and some of the locals are able to harness one of the four elements to make for formidable foes. This book is full of high adventure in a blend of science fiction and fantasy. The art is very nice and there's a lot of story in this massive issue, which moves along at a brisk pace and covers a lot of ground, moving to entirely new situations from one page to the next at times. Some might say that it moves a little too quickly, but I like it - it has the feeling of older superhero comics prior to the 5-issue slow-building arcs we see everywhere presently. It's very lighthearted and fun. The characters aren't dark and troubled and are hardly introspective, but for a good old-fashioned fantasy, this is a great debut issue with a lot of heart, and I'm excited to further explore this forsaken planet in forthcoming issues.

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