by Dan Watters and Caspar Wijngaard
Out from Image Comics comes this new tale, Limbo, that introduces readers to a very strange new world. With some interesting language for the story and an art style that seems a bit reminiscent of Michael Avon-Oeming, Limbo #1 does a decent job of engaging the readers. The story has enough originality to stand apart, while still including some familiar plotting and panel work.
The book opens to introduce readers to their protagonist, Clay. He is an average looking individual in a not-so-average universe. Clay’s story is that he woke up several months ago with absolutely no memory of who he was or how he got to where he was found. It’s a writing technique that has been used before, and when done effectively can create some really interesting tension. Overall, the protagonist knows about as much as the audience does and that can make for a good tactic for exploration and discovery. Clay is interesting, mostly in regards to his character design. But, Dan Watters gives readers some tertiary characters that strike a note well enough to leave an impression. Sandy, the woman responsible for finding and saving Clay, is rather entertaining in her first appearance. And though it is brief, she is one that audiences will look forward to seeing more often. Then comes the mysterious Bridgette.
From the time Bridgette is introduced, the book adopts a bit of a private detective, almost noir-like mood. Her initial scene is well complemented by Caspar Wijngaard’s colors. The scene is mostly in the shadows, and Bridgette begins the sequence hiding behind a mask. As in most noir tales, Bridgette is in trouble and has come to the one man who might be able to save her life. The book is able to toe the line before becoming a bit too cliché or familiar in this type of approach. The bits about her circumstances and the unique characteristics of this universe certainly help keep things feeling fresh. Eventually, the book introduces an unexpected element of the mystical. Though hinted at earlier in the book, the eventual story that Bridgette tells Clay and the audience gives some indication that Limbo is likely to take readers on a journey that they have yet to see. Wijngaard’s colors are well-chosen as he portrays this incredibly odd sequence of a man and goat dancing about in front of a television. If that sounds strange, witnessing it certainly does not make it less so. Even still, it’s the type of strange that is more attention grabbing than dissuading.
Ultimately, the basic plot of this first issue is rather straight forward. With some entertaining twists and oddities, and kinetic art from Wijngaard, Limbo #1 is certainly a solid first chapter. Watters is able to drop in just enough mysteries here to get the audience to bite for a second chapter. Hopefully the world develops even more next time, giving the audience an idea of where this new book might be heading.