WEBCOMIC WEDNESDAY REVIEW: Fatebound

Creator: Tim McLaughlin
Webcomic: Fatebound

Summary: Fatebound is an epic of humans and gods, struggling against one another to understand the reality in which they exist. It centers, predominately, around Hadral and Elyse, two humans nudged and manipulated by the Trickster God to retrieve a book with powerful information and implications.

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Story: Fatebound holds the promise of a very well thought out world and impeccable lore. It breaks few boundaries, introduces few new concepts, however it carries solid principles and tried and true ideologies. The mythos of this world is deep, tangible, and enjoyable in and of itself. The problem is, that the execution of this story falls somewhat short.

The overall pacing of the story is solid, providing enough information to keep the reader going, without revealing its entire hand. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t interested in figuring out the answer to some of the mysteries presented. But individual pages seem to jump around, and skip potentially entertaining moments, or glaze of periods of time that could excellently characterize the heroes.

Speaking of that, few characters are given very thorough personalities. The story moves forward, and large moments are addressed, but rarely do we get to see how it impacts the characters on an emotional level. The primary exception to this is Elyse, whom we at least see enraged by the unjust treatment she receives at the hands of the gods.

All in all, the story reads more like a legend, which helps to add to the ancient feel. However, it is not presented in this way. Tweaking the story in one direction or another (an impersonal mythology, or a personal story of a human’s adventure) would greatly benefit Fatebound. But as it stands, it straddles a precarious fence. In order to find a more personal level, it needs more action, more interaction, and less monologue. In both good and bad ways, it reminds me of epics I read in high school (Gilgamesh comes to mind first). It has that powerful basis to it, that depth. However, at the same time, fails to make me care about the characters, only the lore.

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Art: Fatebound’s art is erratic in early chapters, changing styles and schemes. It is obvious that it is an experimental phase for the creator and there is nothing wrong with going through that, but it does deter some readers. I was recently reminded (regarding my own webcomic) that a chain is only as good as its weakest link. Having strong moments mixed in with poor ones can only help to highlight the shortcomings. The art does improve as the story progresses, but still experiences moments of complete change. It would be better, in my opinion, to have an update come late, than to rush it and omit coloring.

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Conclusion: All in all, Fatebound has a long way to go. It’s interesting to see the growth throughout it, but it’s not something that I can find myself recommending. Through this, the creator Tim McLaughlin, has shown that he has an excellent handle on world building. Now, he simply has to learn the best way for him to explore that world.

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