As I continue to be drawn to comic books, I’ve started to focus (at least in part) on limited series. For me it is a great way to get exposure to more titles, artists and writers than following an ongoing series. But more importantly, the stories are completed in full in less than ten issues. That’s right. There is a beginning, middle and end. Not an unending narrative that introduces new problems before old ones are resolved.
The latest one I’ve picked up is Feathers from BOOM! STUDIOS / ARCHAIA (I’m unclear on which one).
After reading a comic book I tend to go online to see what other people thought of the book. From the few reviews I’ve read, Feathers is getting some very positive attention. Especially for the art work. The first few reviews I read also pointed out that this type of story has been done before. Not just before. But a lot.
To be clear the reviewers are referring to the story line of a child of privilege and a child of poverty forming a bond of friendship during an adventure– not a story about a boy who was born with feathers. Or perhaps a bird who was hatched with the body of a boy?!
I could see how someone could reach that conclusion after a quick read. But I’ll speculate that Feathers will have more to it’s story than the story of Poe (the boy with feathers) and Bianca (a girl from a wealthy family in a wealthy city who does not have feathers).
What’s this wild speculation based on?
- Well first lets start with the narrators. Two off page narrators identified by distinctive color schemes in their lettering. The white one refers to white walled city as “mine” and laments that the two narrators are in the “Maze”. The other (darker) one points out that the white one wanted to “break the balance”. A few pages later (after the narrators dissapear) references are made to the “White Guide”. While they don’t seem omnipotent they seem ethereal. Angels or Gods? The reader is left wondering. These two narrators appear to have their own story to contribute.
- There is a shadowy stage coach driver. I’m guessing this character is very much like Poe. Possibly a relative.
- His face is entirely covered in (you guessed it) shadows and he wears a scarf. There is one frame where the shadow of his “hair” can be seen between his top hat and his red scarf. The outline of the “hair” has a remarkable resemblance to Poe’s feathers.
- The shadowy guy also whistles a lot. Almost like a bird.
- Shadowy guy has yellow eyes. And so does our hero.
- And then there is the observation by one of the narrators that the shadowy guy with red scarf knows that Poe’s feathers are not “ordinary” feathers.
- Regardless, this character has a story that I’m guessing will diverge from the theme of “best of times/worst of times”
- Poe (in theory) should be afraid of everyone. Rich or Poor. He is radically different from both and will always be in danger around anyone. He’s cautious, but certainly not terrified. Not in the same way his father fears that Poe will be discovered by someone.
- Poe’s father Gabriel was at one time the light shaded narrator’s “favorite”. Not one of his/her favorites. But the favorite. Seems interesting.
- Bianca! This is probably my wildest speculation and probably where I’ll get burned. Bianca chases Poe, who can leap over buildings, and is surprisingly able to catch him. We’ll see if the writer Jorge Corona (also the illustrator) provides some reason why or how Bianca is able to accomplish this seemingly impossible task.
Also there is a lot black slippery fluid in the “Maze”. Not sure where that’s going.
So even if this turns out to be just another portrayal of a storyline made popular by Charles Dickens, I don’t care. Apparently some say these types of stories have become very common in young adult fiction and maybe even comic books.
Eh. I’ve missed them all. So I have no problem reading this one thinking it is fresh.
Will I Read It To My Kids?
There is a good chance I will. This is an all ages comic so content shouldn’t really be a concern. I want to at least read the second issue to see if it is something I think they would enjoy. Then (regardless of what I think) I’ll ask them.