Today I'm reviewing the successfully Kickstarter funded comic The Steamworld Chronicles #1. The Steamworld Chronicles was created and written by Steven Hoveke & Mike Scigliano with pencils by Ben Risbeck, inks by Mark McKena, colors by Kote Carvajal and letters by John J. Hill.
I actually got to meet Steven Hoveke and Mike Scigliano at Grasshopper Comics on Long Island some weeks ago when they were signing for the book; which is when I picked it up. I got the Walter Simonson variant cover which is great, but I probably didn't need to tell you that. When I picked up this comic, they described it as being like Indian Jones in a steampunk setting. Since there really is no better way to sum this book up quickly, I'm going to go with that. Now, to elaborate.
This is the first part in a miniseries titled "The Constantine Quest." Basically, a train gets hijacked for a particular piece of cargo, things don't go according to plan, which leads to our hero, Q, being introduced to help find the missing cargo. As Q digs deeper, he runs into faces both new and familiar and slowly beings to see how important the missing cargo really is.
The story is solid and paced pretty well. The only real complaint would be that it is fairly predictable at first. However, this is supposed to be serving as an introduction to a new world which makes it difficult to go too far beyond just setting up the story. They have plenty of time to add twists and turns along the way.
The art is also solid, but they don't take too many risks. This is both good and bad. On the one hand, the art is very clear, fluid, and the panels combined with the lettering guide you seamlessly through the story; making for a quick and easy read. Let me be clear, this is incredibly important and even some of the top tier professional comics fail at this sometimes. It highlights how skilled this team is. The downside is that the art could be pushing the envelope further and be more visually outstanding. None of the pages really popped at me as being exceptionally stunning or visually intriguing. I think for this story though, that sacrificing that for clear and fluid storytelling works.
Overall, The Steamworld Chronicles #1 is a solid story, and if you're into steampunk and like comics this is a no brainer. If you aren't by Grasshopper Comics on Long Island, you should check out their website to pick up a copy, physical or digital, of the first issue with the promise of more to come!
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