By Sean Lewis and Hayden Sherman
Imagine author Cormac McCarthy had a hand in writing Frank Miller’s Ronin. If that sparks your interests then keep reading this review. If, on the other hand, you don’t recognize those names, or know of their work, then stop here and go catch up. You wont be sorry and we’ll be here when you get back. Either way, that may be the best description for this comic, which is so unlike anything on the shelf at the moment, it may well create an experience that will continue to open new doors for you.
Image Comics produces, yet another, new creator-owned series worth checking out. Amazing, really, that so many first issues can be produced with such high frequency, but even more amazing is how worthy they are of readers’ attention. You’re gonna have to pick and choose which one’s fit your budget of course, so if you’re looking for something more artistic with an indie appeal, then The Few is a fine candidate for your time and money.
Nothing is more vulnerable, or worthy of rescuing, than an injured mother alone with her child in a hostile environment. So right away The Few grabs hold of your heart and your sense of compassion if only to see if things turn out all right. Rest assured, it isn’t long before the rest of the story draws you in too and then you’re just along for the ride. But it is that same sense of, call it, impactful fragility, that you get in the opening scene, which plays another more important role as the true essence of this comic book. Both art and writing, while created with confidence and undeniable directness, seem delicate and on the verge of cracking. Thin line work combined with sharp dialogue gives the reader the impression of walking across a lake covered by a brittle layer of ice. The further you progress the more precarious the situation becomes. Characters, costumes, and backgrounds are created and laid out with a strong design sense, but work equally as hard to demonstrate a feeling of helplessness as they do to impress our eyes. And make no mistake this is an impressive work of art through and through.
The illustrations, by Hayden Sherman, are completed by a seemingly unfinished aspect. Harsh brush strokes and rough edges contribute to the tone of the book while helping to define the artist’s style. The Few relies heavily on that style, which is probably the main hook. Of all the other artistic choices out there in the industry, something more mainstream or cartoony could’ve caused The Few to fall flat. Thankfully the book is an art piece in the way it is presented with ample creative purity. The coloring is subdued in order to strike forth with strategic, bold placements of red. Acting as another character almost. The slashes, dashes and splatter of orange-red act as a second nature element to the storytelling. It’s so simplistic you can’t help but follow along, and it’s also part of the fun in watching the comic unfold.
It’s not as if a story has been written about a bleak, dystopian future then cluttered up with a bunch of exposition either. No, this comic does its job to preserve that quality of necessary minimalism without sacrificing crucial plots and details. Characters say what they mean and no more, in the same way the settings are designed to indicate a less desirable world then we know in the present. The pacing and manner in which the story is told makes for a sort of hands-free experience. There’s little work to be done on the reader’s part and that’s thanks to Sean Lewis’ ability to script a comic that treats us like persons of intelligence, while taking all of the work off our shoulders. The heavy lifting has already been done, so let the entertainment begin.
Great first issue, and just what the market needs; a well thought out story with artwork that will make you want more and more and more. Image does it again, and by that we mean they keep providing genuine artists with a platform to showcase their work. The standards improve almost every time a new series launches, but The Few is going to give every other creator an all-new bar to reach.