REVIEW: Lantern City #1

STORY BY: Paul Jenkins, Matthew Daley
ART BY: Carlos Magno
COLORS BY: Chris Blythe
LETTERS BY: Deron Bennett
Publisher: Archaia
Release Date: 05/13/2015

Lantern city is the home of a, largely, cowed civilization. Protected by a large wall, which acts as both a barrier to protect and a barrier to freedom, the city has a set hierarchy: The Greys provide so we survive, the guards protect so we may serve and finally the actions of one are the actions of all.

We follow Sander, meet his family, whilst he tries to survive. Essentially Sander is the good man trapped in a bad situation, caught between wanting to protect his family and the realisation that to do so, will take more than working the yellowberry fields. After attending a meeting to discuss rebellion, Sander is set on a path that will hopefully, challenge his viewpoint rather than have him follow blindly a  distinct right and wrong.

The book is a true collaboration, created by Trevor Crafts, co-created by Mathew Daley, who also serves as one of the writers of the issue, and Babylon 5 and genre alumni Bruce Boxleitner. Also on hand in the writing department is Paul Jenkins and between Jenkins and Daley we have a solid start to what could be a multi layered book. Sanders just wants his family safe, but the continued oppression makes it harder as does the incessant mantra of the society, which I must say does come across as very similar to the psi corps from Babylon 5.

The art is a more streamlined affair, with Carlos Magno on pencils and inks with Chris Blythe providing the colours. I have to say I enjoyed reading the book. The pseudo futuristic / Victorian look works well, like something from a Jules Verne or H. G. Wells novel.  Magno’s strength seems to be the more quiet moments of the book, the interaction between father and son for example. The colours are solid, adding to the overall feel of the environment.

This issue is a solid start to what could be a very interesting book. It wears its influences proudly on its sleeve. It will be interesting to see if the story does indeed challenge Sander’s perception of his world and his place in it, or will he turn out to be the traditional hero fighting against the morally wrong? Time will tell.

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