By Jorge Corona and Jen Hickman
Jorge Corona’s Feathers is an exciting new series coming out from Archaia Press. The book, which follows the adventure of Poe and Bianca has been as charming as it is engaging from the very start. Corona’s writing from his character work to his world building have made the start of this new series a treat to follow. Last issue, Poe and Bianca made their way through The Maze, picked up a friend, and made it back to Poe’s house. With each chapter, Corona has infused a good bit of world building and this is no different here. Feathers #3 is another strong chapter filled with rich worlds and beautiful art.
Writers who really understand world building are able to do it in a way that is more understated than expositional. In Feathers, Corona offers much of the development of The City and The Maze using more of the implicit world building. In the early portion of this issue, Pop discovers Poe with Bianca and learns from where she has come. Instantly he erupts, separating the two and saying that she cannot be trusted. Everything so far in the series would point to the contrary, but this in conjunction with the setup of the wall certainly suggest some disconnect that has yet to be explained. Corona rushes the story forward, but leaves these curiosities dancing around in the mind of the reader.
Meanwhile, R, who was run out of the ally by Poe last issue, has found himself trapped by some mysterious being. Corona’s construction of the sequence, panel layout and overall setting of this sequence certainly work to pair a sense of mystery with terror as R is placed in a bird-cage. What really makes the sequence work however, is the gorgeous color work by Jen Hickman. The entire visual element of Feathers plays in to just how enjoyable the new series has been. A large part of that is the coloring by Hickman. The scene here drenches the villain in shadows, leaving a strangely shaped figure circling the terrified youth. Adding in the splash of red and his red balloons makes the encounter even more frightening.
Hickman really does make Feathers a sight to behold. Much of this issue takes place in the evening and nighttime hours. The shadows and deep colors that fill the pages as readers follow Poe and Bianca through The Maze after sundown are stunning. As Bianca admits that she actually misses home and may regret her decision to venture into The Maze, she and Poe stare out at the village, with the moon off in the distance. Though it is a brief scene (and a rather benign one at that) it shows how strong Corona and Hickman are with their visual story telling. The moment is short before launching readers into the strangest sequence of the chapter and adding in an entirely new layer to this growing universe.
Feathers is absolutely a must read. The craft of Corona from writing to art, and with a brand new world brought to life with Jen Hickman’s colors, Feathers manages to entice readers and build piece by piece. There are a number of these bits seeded at this point that readers will want to learn more about, creating their own theories between issues. All the while, real threats like the royal guard, Z and the man in the shadows keep the tension rising.