Sunday, December 13, 2015
Review: FROM UNDER MOUNTAINS #1
IMAGE COMICS – @ImageComics
[This review was first posted on Patreon.]
STORY: Claire Gibson and Marian Churchland
SCRIPT: Claire Gibson
ART/COLORS: Sloane Leong
MISC. ART: Brandon Graham
COVER: Marian Churchland
36pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (September 2015)
Rated M / Mature
From Under Mountains is an ongoing fantasy comic book series published by Image Comics. The series is from the creative team of Claire Gibson (story and script), Sloane Leong (art and colors), and Marian Churchland (story and cover art). From Under Mountains is set in the world of Akhar and will focus on the partnership of a lord's daughter, a disgraced knight, and a runaway thief – a union that will change the course of a world in turmoil.
From Under Mountains #1 opens with a magical summoning. Then, the story sets about introducing the main characters. In Karsgate (a northern land in Akhar), Elena, the daughter of the Lord of Karsgate, wishes to have the freedom to roam the world that her brother, Marcellus, has. Her father has other plans for her, plans he believes will secure his family's future.
Elsewhere in Karsgate, Tova, a young thief, plans to steal her way into Karsgate Keep. However, it is at the keep that she witnesses something supernatural and horrifying. Meanwhile, in Akara, the center of power and the seat of the king, down-and-out knight, Sir Tomas Fisher, is brought before a powerful councilor, Vassedin, who has a proposition for him.
From Under Mountains looks like a fantasy epic and will apparently take place in a land of embattled rival clans and will feature courtly intrigue, magic, heroes, villains, and goblins. After reading it, I recognize elements that are familiar to high fantasy. From Under Mountains seems like a version of A Game of Thrones touched by Lord of the Rings.
Visually and graphically, however, From Under Mountains looks different. The characters are not lily white, as if this were a film filled with the finest that Anglo-Saxon, Celtic, and Nordic bloodlines have to offer. Instead, the characters are brown, red, and rusty, among other shades. The land and settings seem Oriental (the old version of the word), Persian, and “middle Eastern.”
The art by Sloane Leong looks like a melding of the work of Carla Speed-McNeil in Finder and Jeff Smith in Bone. The graphic design, however, suggests tapestry and pottery. The coloring is earthy, except when depicting magic; then, it is wild and trippy. I have to admit that I find Leong's art beautiful and alluring.
From Under Mountains fascinates me. I cannot stop flipping through its pages. I can't wait for the second issue.
Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux
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