Wednesday, January 27, 2021

#IReadsYou Review: GREY Chapter 3


[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]

STORY: Kris Hornett
ART: Ardee Arollado
EDITOR: Lisa Taylor
28pp, B&W, $10.00 (September 2020)

Chapter 3 “Deja Vu”

Grey is a recently-launched. independently published comic book series from writer Kris Hornett and artist Ardee Arollado.  Published by The Grey Room, Grey is a hybrid, a combination of an American comic book format and Japanese manga.  Grey is similar to what was once called “OEL manga” or “original English language” manga.  These were American graphic novels in which the storytelling borrowed or mimicked the aesthetics and sensibilities of Japanese manga (comics).

Grey is set in the realm of Ketiyama (apparently an archipelago) and takes place some time after an event known as “the Sonoma Incident.”  This outbreak of the lethal “Moon Virus” on Nacirema, one of Ketiyama's islands, led to chaos, destruction, and division.  As a sign of good faith and as a last attempt to restore order, the ruling Board of Officials allowed the people to elect a team of highly trained tactical agents, known as “the Bureau,” to serve and protect them.  Within the Bureau is an elite unit known as “Nimbus.”  This team of five agents are sworn to maintain moral balance and to enforce the law.  The agents of Nimbus are also able to manipulate their “prana” (“life energy”).

The agents of Nimbus are Samara Asuhara, Kouken Masimuto, Shuyin Hagamuri, Manu Yagyu, and Kale SchaeferBelisia Asuhara is their handler and the creator of Nimbus.

As Grey. Chapter 3. (“Deja Vu”) opens,  Shuyin visits with his mother, who has telepathic abilities.  Through her, Shuyin gets to play with his memories and experiences with Willow, the young woman from his past who is connected to the Bureau's current case.

Elsewhere, agents Samara and Kouken visit Kale Schaefer to discuss the mysterious “okami mask,” its notorious past and its connection to Kale's past.  Later, Samara and Kouken may be unaware of the danger near them.  Have they walked into a trap?

THE LOWDOWN:  Grey is conceptually well-developed, and the world in which it is set has a complex history.  The authors are simultaneously building a world and unwrapping a science fiction dramatic narrative.

Grey Chapter 3 first takes a deep dive into Shuyin's mind.  I find Shuyin's interior world:  memories, dreams, thoughts, etc. to be an engaging way to delve into the character and into everything that is going on around him – past, present, and future.  As much as I like Grey's other characters, I feel as if I never get enough of him, but it is good that Hornett and Arollado have their lead emerge as a star character so early in the series.

Meanwhile, Hornett takes time to take us to some other characters, and as I wrote in a previous review, all the characters are interesting in some way.  They make the world of Grey an exciting place for readers to be, and Hornett always leaves me wanting more.  Twenty-five pages of story is a lot these days, but 50 pages per issue of Grey would not be enough.  It is still early enough to get in on the ground floor of this exciting American manga, dear readers.

I READS YOU RECOMMENDS:  Fans of manga-inspired comic books will want to read Grey.

[This comic book includes two pages of additional informative text pieces.]

7.5 out of 10

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

The text is copyright © 2020 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog or site for reprint and syndication rights and fees.


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