Boone Diaz is a man of science. His natural intellect and keen observation put him on par with Sherlock Holmes. There is an answer for everything and everything has an answer; even in a world of magic.
The premise of the latest offering from Matt Kindt is a true crime approach to the world of fantasy. Boone has found a way into a realm of magic and after numerous visits has become known across the kingdom as the premiere investigator in the unusual and bizarre. In this land of magic his laws of science are unheard of; his simple use of geometry, angles, and force quickly solve the question of what weapon was used to murder the magical world’s protector; the Blaze.
The cast is bizarre as anything that you might read in fantasy. Boone is accompanied through the Ether during this issue by Glum, a giant talking ape creature, who is the Gatekeeper of the Crossroads”. (Think of Glum as the doorman to other dimensions… a doorman who has to punt you to where you want to go) Then there is the collection of oddities that Boone talks with during the course of his stay. There are lizard-bird-men, demon trolls that smoke cigars, flying jellyfish, racing snails that are used as taxi cabs… the more outrageous the design the more likely that creature is calling the Ether home.
Kindt moves his tale along at a neck breaking pace. Never slowing to really establish the history of our surroundings or characters, we are supposed to be amazed by the wondrous images that are flashing before us and immersed enough in the narrative that we as an audience keep our questions focused on the plot that is being shown to us. Kindt achieves this feat with the deft hand that comes from a seasoned storyteller.
Rubin’s art falls somewhere between a mixture of Adventure Time and a fever dream. His style is deceptively simple and yet utterly charming. The wide array of kooky characters that Boone runs into during his time in the Ether are numerous and each is designed with a unique flare that separates them from the background, yet allows the reader to be easily convinced that this is another strange citizen of this strange world.
Final Thoughts: This is a solid offering from an accomplished team of creative individuals. I can see that this series is one that has some lasting power and that we all will be diving into the Ether over and over again for years to come.
Final Grade: 4 Stars
Story: Matt Kindt
Art/Letters: David Rubin
Digital Art: Melissa Martin
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Publication Date:November 16, 2016
Format:FC, 32 pages;