Umbral #8 (Image, 2014)
STORY: Antony Johnston
ART: Christopher Mitten (art), Jordon Boyd (colours)
I had eagerly awaited this weeks release of Umbral, just as I have every single issue since the launch of this series.
At first I wanted to try it because I’m a big fan of Johnston and Mittens’ last collaboration Wasteland which is nearly over and remains one of my all time favourite comics. So you can imagine the expectation and interest in this new and very different to that title re-teaming of these creators.
The first issue definitely struck a chord of interest but it was the wonderfully crafted continuing adventures of our young heroine Rascal that have kept me coming back.
This issue we get to see Rascal, the mercenary Shayim, the Profoss Munty and the down-right weird old man Dalone (who has far more secrets and troubles than one would expect) as they continue to flee the Redguard of the King whose royal house has been infiltrated by the evil Umbral. This time they enter a dark-wood and must decide where to go next as danger stalks their every step as well as cope with the mistrust they have amongst themselves.
This is definitely a wonderful take on the fantasy genre and has brought to life a world that draws from some of the best of fantasty and then builds something utterly new that is a fantasy fans dream come true.
Like Wasteland, Mitten clearly has a distinct and unique look for literally everything in this world – my favourite being the shadow creatures with Cheshire grins called the Umbral, truly comical and unnerving at the same time. But it is the addition of the colours in this limited but very well rendered palette that makes the art here truly stand out and is remarkably effective.
THE LAST WORD:
Hands down one of (if not THE) the best fantasy comics I have ever read and this is just the eigth issue!
OVERALL SCORE: 10 / 10