Created by: Chuck Amadori and Adam Bloch
Artist: Alex Reis
Publisher: Isle Squared Comics
Synopsis: (From the Isle Squared Comics Website*) TETHER tells the story of the Imperium, the last city of a once booming planet, now mostly barren. TETHER is a multi-layered story, rich with characters like Alina and Zarran, young slaves whose struggles and triumphs parallel one another.
TETHER as a concept has been floating around for the better part of a decade. In it’s previous incarnation, the property was slated to become an animated series entitled “Crimson City”.Unfortunately, that show never happened and we’ve had to wait for the stars to align in order for this comic to see the light of day. After the departure of co-creator Adam Bloch, the series underwent a name change and some revisions, before ultimately being shelved again
On it’s surface the book has a straightforward chosen one theme. Alina, one of the book’s main characters, is fresh to life as a slave in the Imperium; lucky for her she has Zarran, a seasoned captive, to show her the ropes. We also get a look at the series’ main antagonist, the golden masked Emperor Trovaar. The ruler of a technologically advanced but declining state, the dictator gives the citizens under his rule the proverbial bread and circus to distract them.
After a brief amphitheater battle, Alina is taken in for genetic testing by the deranged (seems to be contagious amongst the ruling elite in the book) Dr. Murrell. Murrell seems to be the most complex character presented thus far. It is apparent that Murrell has ulterior motives for conducting the tests, goals that run counter to that of the empire.
I’m having a hard time connecting to this book, for one reason really. The artwork, while good, feels a little rushed. Reis’ pencils aren’t bad and Morarji’s colors are excellent, but the style that the combination creates feels awkward. Oddly enough, Reis’ work looks more screen adaptable than anything else. It might be interesting to see his art on a possible TETHER web series. For reasons totally unrelated to my opinion, Ruvel Arbil will be in charge of pencils for issue number two.
The characters, outside of Murrell, are a little flat; but this is only the first issue. I’m guessing we’ll see more dimensions as things progress in the story arc. Speaking of, the story is deceptively layered, containing seeds of universal archetypes like suffering and determination, and hints of intricate caste systems (there are several types of Genetaclones that have yet to be revealed ) among the servant class.
By Adam Cadmon
Follow me on Twitter: @K1NG_OF_J4CKS