Review: The Sovereigns #1

In the year 2525 the legendary hero, Samson, walks the Earth keeping his reasons and secrets to himself.  5o5 years ago, the world began to end with King Turok meeting his final fate and the Lost Valley once again missing from all who would seek it.  Never to let a puzzle fry his circuits, Magnus seeks out counsel from Spektor and Solar; two beings of immense power and disparate knowledge.  All the while, in the future, the Black Forest harbours monsters and death for all that enter its domains, even the might Samson?

Ray Fawkes is the writer of The Sovereigns part of this book.  For fans of his work, this story feels familiar, carrying the same sort of beats and tone that has impressed many.  For those new to Fawkes, sit back and immerse yourself in this master storyteller’s imagination.  Fawkes is twining a number of threads in this book; different time periods, different perceptions of reality and the different needs of the characters involved.  For the most part, Magnus serves as our fulcrum into the future seeking the same answers we do.  It is through his interactions with Spektor and Solar that we get to see the world through the eyes of all the characters.  This is a strength of Fawkes, giving the readers differing viewpoint, all equally represented and letting the reader make up their own mind.

The Sovereigns art is supplied by Johnny Desjardins, who is no stranger to Dynamite Entertainment.  Looking at the art in this book, I am more than pleasantly surprised by the quality on show.  At times, the art in Dynamite books can be hit and miss.  Here, it is most definitely hit, despite a couple of perspective issues that crop up early in the book.  The strong lines and heavy inks of the Hub of the Machine Consciousness give way to the darkness inherent in the blackest of forests, before giving the mystical realm of Spektor a sense of grounding.  Throughout the various locations, colorist Mohan, delivers on all fronts, the strongest being the powerful energy emanating from Solar in dark reds, yellows and oranges.

The book also features a back-up tale of sorts, although describing the Magnus feature as an introduction seems to be more accurate.   Whatever you decide to call it, this sidestep further evolves Dr Magnus, robot psychiatrist who we caught a glimpse of in The Sovereigns #0 issue.  Here, she is once again looking to help robot with their “feelings”, whilst also setting up stories to be continued in Magnus #1, which ships on 7th June.  The back up is a clever little twisty tale written by Kyle Higgins with art by Jorge Fornes.  Higgins writes in such a compelling manner, you can’t help but get involved.  I only hope that he maintains the quality here, rather than have it dip dramatically as it has in Nightwing.  Jorge Fornes art has a nice less descriptive, less detailed approach than Desjardin.  It is as almost a palpable difference as the difference between city life and country life.  Each have their advantages and disadvantages; but both are equally viable.

Overall, this book again shows how serious Dynamite can be about their comic book output.  For the main feature, there is some great writing and strong art.  The quality of the second feature is let down a tad by its virtue of being an extended advert, but still possesses  bags of charm and character.

Writing – 4.5 Stars

Art – 4.5 Stars

Colors – 4.5 Stars

The Sovereigns #1
writers: Ray Fawkes (main), Kyle Higgins (Magnus bonus story)
artists: Johnny Desjardins (main), Jorge Fornés (Magnus bonus story)
covers: Stephen Segovia (a), Johnny Desjardins (b), Philip Tan (c), Goran Sudžuka (d)
incentive cover: Stephen Segovia (B/W art), Johnny Desjardins (B/W art), Philip Tan (B/W art), Goran Sudžuka (B/W art)
Johnny Desjardins (“virgin art”)
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