(Image Comics, 2015)
Writer: Kel Symons
Art: Nate Stockman
Colors: Paul Little
Lettering and Design: Pat Brosseau
Battles with unspeakable monsters, daring intrigue, legends, and spellbinding magic await as we enter the Land of Fate in Reyn #1, the new Image Comics fantasy adventure series, written by Kel Symons (The Mercenary Sea), with art by Nate Stockman, colors by Paul Little, and lettering and Design by Pat Brosseau.
From its stunning opening moments, where the desolate and scorched landscape of the Barrens stretches into the distance, the history of this land is solemnly narrated as writer Kel Symons brilliantly structured world entwines us within the legacy of the land of Fate. Soon our imaginations are rife with tales of the Great Cataclysm, the terrible event that caused a millennium of cold darkness and despair, which saw the fabled ìWardensî of Fate, the brave warriors of light that once protected this realm from darkness, pass into myth and legend.
Now one lone warrior rises to challenge the forces of darkness. Reyn is a swordsman and monster hunter for hire, a freelancer, who it seems might also just happen to be the last of the legendary ìWardensî of the Land of Fate. Reyn is a tough, no-nonsense warrior, though not exactly a knight errant, his fearless resolve and guile makes him a force to be reckoned with. Heís also ìhauntedî, for want of a better word, by some kind of invisible guiding force, Aurora mistress of Light, whose influence has somehow placed Reyn on his quest to protect the land from evil. Its fun to see Reyn conversing with his unseen guiding entity as it makes him look like heís talking to himself, which often leaves those around him looking aghast and completely puzzled by his behavior.
This new fantasy comic series is like a breath of fresh air. I really enjoy Kel Symons writing, he has a great way of making the characters seem so real and believable, with distinct personality traits, and Reyn #1 is a terrific introduction to this character and the magical world he inhabits. After helping save the family on the farm, Reyn is welcomed as a saviour, we soon hear of mysterious stories about the Land of Fate, and learn how the monsters from the Barrens seem to be tunnelling closer. I like how Symons has crafted such an intricate, and detailed world, filled with astonishing monsters and characters, and this first issue skilfully establishes the premise of the series while also including enough plot twists to keep us intrigued and wanting more.
Reyn #1 is a superb looking issue, with great art by Nate Stockman, the characters are all well defined, the action sequences and monster battle are really exciting, and Stockman ensures the pace of the action doesnít let up for a moment. The fights are brutal and often bloody, the bizarre reptile creatures which dwell in the Keep of Barron Allwyn look amazing too, but the real highlight for me was the giant spider monster-thing Reyn fights during the opening moments, that was simply incredible! Stockmanís art perfectly encapsulates the essence of Kel Symons exciting new fantasy world, the colors by Paul Little really enhances and heightens the atmosphere, and the sumptuous lettering and design by Pat Brosseau is exquisite.
Following his overnight stay at the farm, Reyn makes his way to the town of Ledwain, where he encounters an unlikely ally. When events lead to Reyn teaming up with the sorceress Seph, a member from the strange coven known only as the Followers of Tek, who are often hounded as heretics for their beliefs, events conspire to place them both in danger. Seph is another great character, tough, intelligent, and resourceful; I canít wait to see her fighting side-by-side with Reyn. Early impressions hint at the electrifying chemistry between Reyn and Seph, and I look forward to seeing what further secrets and monsters await them in the Land of Fate.
Reyn #1 provides an excellent start to the new Image Comics series by Kel Symons, the story is richly detailed and multi-layered, which together with Nate Stockmanís dazzling artwork, certainly gets this series off to a cracking start. If you are looking for an exciting new addition to add to your pull list make sure its Reyn #1, you wonít be disappointed!
Paul Bowler is a self-Confessed Sci-Fi Geek, Doctor Who fan, and Zombie Disposal Expert. He likes movies, comic books, and all things PS3. He likes to write about his interests, would love to write a novel one day, and also enjoys chatting to the many people he has gotten to know on Twitter. When he’s not busy being an Impossible Astronaut, he likes to take a break from his adventures in time and space to enjoy some of his favourite tv shows and movies, preferably with a nice cuppa tea & a sandwich! You can follow him on Twitter @paul_bowler, or find him at his website, Sci-Fi Jubilee.