By Sebastian Girner, Galaad, and Jeff Powell.
This week Image debuted its new fantasy series called Scales & Scoundrels that’s centered on a young lady, Luvander, who may or may not be a dragon who insists on living her life looking for adventure. We first meet Luvander as she cleans up big in a game of Dragon’s Horde at a local pub. We can assume she won this through some sort of hook or crook, but things go sideways once she gets accused of cheating by the local big man. From then on, this issues hops around all over this new world put together by writer Girner and artist Galaad. This premiere issue has it all; intriguing backstory, lots of action, and a mysterious bad guy who we certainly have not seen the last of.
This first issue certainly introduces the readers to an entirely new universe; with diverse characters and landscapes filling up the pages, this series has a lot of promise to it. Seeing all the thought and consideration that has been put into this issue and subsequent ones, it gives this issue a little more depth considering all the forethought that the creators have put into it. Artist Galaad is really embracing the creative challenge put before him from writer Girner. The art from Galaad is a perfect complement to the cheeky story of a young vagabond who is on the constant search for gold and adventures. The pages almost look like they are stills from a Saturday-morning cartoon show, which is a nice touch. The pages are filled with such vibrant colors, that tackle landscapes from rain forests to quaint villages. Each panel is filled with care and detail, from the composition to the color, Galaad is putting in a lot of effort to build a connection between the reader and Luvander. The watercolor styled colors and the over exaggerated facial expressions only add to the child like feel of this book. At first glance this book could be mistaken as a comic for children, but you get the impression Girner is holding back something heavy that will take this book to a mature adult rating. The childlike rendition of this story, allow the heavier topics to not hit as hard and there are some heavy topics.
The story and art take a quick pace throughout the issue as we go on a journey across lands and forest following Luvander. Writer Girner wastes no time in showing us exactly what kind of series this will be with his jammed packed pages of action and dialogue. This book is laying down a lot of story that is sure to be fleshed out in future issues, like what exactly happened to Luvander’s hometown and who is that man who shows up looking for Luvander at the end of the issue?
Scales & Scoundrels #1 is a nice complement to anyone’s pull list. With lots of fantasy inspired comics out there, this one goes above and beyond to separate itself from the pack. The care and thought that the creators have put into every panel really comes across, and will certainly get people’s attention. The pages may be light and fun, but don’t be deceived, the story is not. Sure, the story has its fun and light-hearted moments, but it is still underlying the dark backstory of Luvander that we are all waiting to hear about.