(Image Comics, 2014)
Writer: Josh Howard
Artist: Josh Howard
Summary: Nara Kilday was just your average, ordinary 16 year old girl until she began seeing visions of the demons and figures. And began reciting a language even she was unaware of its origin. Then her life began to change, she died and was thrust into Purgatory. She was then resurrected and recruited into a clandestine organization known as Zodiac. Since then she’s been fighting all sorts of evil, and during the final showdown with Lilith the Witch Queen Nara died again. But after death, what is next?
Review: I had never even heard of Dead@17 until I picked up issue #1 of this 7 issue mini-series, which continues the adventures of Nara Kilday. So how did I know about the information above? Because this issue serves as recap of the story thus far while also setting the stage for what’s to come in the next 6 issues. And it wasn’t that bad.
Sure, I wasn’t fully aware of whom all the characters were but not once did I feel alienated and forced to know who everyone was while reading. That’s definitely a good thing. But while I did appreciate the recap-ness of the issue, I do feel some of it could have been trimmed and the story pushed forward a little more. If I had been reading the other stuff just before reading this, I would’ve felt kind of bored.
Some of the concepts and ideas introduced in Dead@17 are quite interesting, and fun, different takes on most Christian views of the afterlife; such as purgatory, and the light at the end of the tunnel when you die. The character designs in this issue were pretty neat too; very spacy just the way I like it.
We get to see a lot of Nara’s old home life in this issue, and it was nice to see that other than a few… bumps, Nara had a pretty sweet life growing up. A genuinely caring father and her best friend named Hazy (she’s a girl). I am intrigued to go back and read the previous stories as the series seems quite good and fun.
The art is pretty wonderful too; I like the half-cartoony style of it along with the big, rounded, almost anime-esque eyes going for the characters. Though at one point, I swore one of the characters was supposed to be a representation of Alan Moore. Which would be pretty crazy in its own right.
Dead@17: The Blasphemy Throne #1 isn’t a bad introduction to the world of Nara Kilday, and I did appreciate being able to jump right in without feeling like I was missing something. But I think, as well, a little too much of this issue was spent in recap mode and for 7 issues; I’m not exactly sure how detrimental or helpful that will be to the story in the end. I guess we’ll just have to see.
Final Score: 3.5 “Visions” out of 5
Derrick is a born and raised otaku with a love for comics, anime, manga and movies. The full list is pretty long, but that’s just the basics. Stories set in space are his bread and butter.
You can find more of his writing at IndieComix.net