Death and the traditional ideas of souls has been used to tell stories in so many different comics, it might becoming its own little niche subset.
Riven is a reaper, who for some reason decided that there was something special about a girl and in a moment of weakness, took her soul and replaced it with his. This cost him his freedom and set the girl on a course to give second chances to those deemed worthy. Along for the ride is Claire, who as a young girl “saw” a reaper take her sister’s soul after she was hit by a car. What makes this event harder to bear for Claire’s family is that Claire is blind. Ostracised by her family, its only when a reaper gives her the Book of Fate does she set out on her journey to met up and partner September. It is through this partnership that we start to get an understanding of the worlds in which they, normal people, the reapers and their Master all inhabit.
Created by Marc Silverstri and Emily Lazar, this volume collects “A Murder of Reapers” and “The Hand of Fate” stories, written by Emily Lazar and Mariah McCourt. That’s a lot of people involved for a story that is pretty much the sum of its parts. There is the mystery of why Riven gave away his powers, how is Claire involved and the always nebulous planning of the big bad. Claire’s role in the story is to be the character readers relate to. Yet, as part of the problem, we are left a floundering a little. I would go as far to say her lack of reaction to all the crazy stuff that happens gives the character an element of disjointedness that is reflected in her dialogue that somehow feels forced at times. This may be the impact of having so many writers/creators all involved.
The art is by Sumeyye Kesgin has an unpolished look to it, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. After all, this is a story about spooks and death. Kesgin figures have an extension to them that accentuates their other-world status. Kesgin seems to have taken a shine to early Silvestri art, looking at some of the angular faces on show throughout the book. Whilst the art doesn’t really work for me, it does suit the book well. The colours by Betsy Gonia and Katarina Devic are a dark affair, with the exception of September, whose whiteness stands out like a beacon against the darkness of the reapers. One more thing about the colors, it seems that purple is the new black. I would be amiss if I didn’t mention the fantastic cover by Marc Silvestri, Betsy Gonia andV Vincent Valentine.
Overall, an enjoyable book that doesn’t set the world alight, with some ideas that in creator meetings may sound great, yet lacks a little in the execution.
Writing – 3 Stars
Art – 3 Stars
Color – 3 Stars
Story: Emily Lazar, Mariah Mccourt
Art: Sumeyye Kesgin
Cover: Marc Silvestri
Published: June 14, 2017
Diamond ID: APR170716