Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Wraithborn #1

"In the Beginning." With Wraithborn #3 coming out this week, I figured I should get on the ball and post my review quick. The boys at Titan Comics - my favorite Dallas comic shop - recommended that I take a peep at this newbie. This isn't a shameless plug either, because I don't get anything in return. In all honesty, I dig Titan's clean store and helpful employees. Anyway, I like the potential of Wraithborn #1, here I go. . .

About the mini-series, Wraithborn: This is a Wildstorm Signature Series (DC) production with 6 total issues. Here's the premise: Long ago, there were Immortals that ruled the world in chaotic havoc and destruction until they were defeated by the Wraithborn. Over time, mankind has forgotten about the Wraithborn saviors, nevertheless the Wraithborn have been on the watch for over a millenium. By some crisis, the Wraithborn powers were unexpectedly passed on to a shy high school girl. The catch? She has to learn to wield the powers quickly as the Immortals are on the hunt for her.

About the authors, Joe Benitez and Marcia Chen: You'll know Benitez from such things as Magdalena, The Darkness, Weapon Zero, and Strykerforce. Chen's work is featured in Magdalena and Ascension.

About the artist, Joe Weems (and Benitez): Weems's work appears in the following productions: Hunter Killer, Magdalena, Fathom, and Hulk: The End #1. I must say that the artwork in #1 is fantastic. I downloaded a copy of #1's artwork pdf-style onto my computer. Very nice work!

Synopsis (with spoilage) and Review: We get two images of the heroin of Wraithborn #1. The story starts out with the tough, fearless, bad-a** Wraithborn. Seemingly, the Immortals are powerless unless someone "invites them in," and when that happens, she has to deal with the consequences (the Immortals take possession of the mortal's body). Wraithborn seems to have a terrible past; the story alludes the total loss of her family and friends as a result of some foolish mistake.

Then the story switches to Melanie Moore--an ordinary teenage girl cooking breakfast for her dad (to lower his cholesterol) so he won't go out and buy crap on the way to work. It's apparent that Melanie's starved for fatherly attention and affection. At school she's not that great at sports and the other girls are hard on her. But she has a conscious for helping out other people. She sweet and caring, nerdy and likable. As the story progresses, it starts to become clear why she is the way she is. . . then the plot begins to unravel as to why Melanie became Wraithborn.

The end of the story is very encouraging, at least for not being a self-contained story. There's enough information to either like or dislike Melanie as a character. I liked the character development and background. The writers did a good job letting the reader into the mind of Melanie (as a teenager and as the new Wraithborn), as well. So there is satisfactory closure for this issue, but there's also enough suspense in the last scene to keep me coming back for more.

Melanie's responsibility is to find Valin. While the reader isn't left hanging at the end of #1, the story builds up enough curiosity for #2 via the discussion about some new guy, Valin. The Wraithborn website speaks about Valin, and how he's going to be a primary character in the story.

Recommendation: Buy #2. I really like the premise of this story; it totally sucked me in. If you're stuck, it's a 6-issue mini-series, so there's not a huge investment (at least read #1).


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