Seraph’s Sanctions: Bolts # 1

Writer: James Whynot
Art: James Whynot
Colors: James Whynot
Publisher: ACTION LAB: DANGER ZONE (June 2016) 

The Breakdown:
Frank gets sucked from his hometown into a new time … seemingly a different dimension. Once Frank gets there, all hell gets loose. As Frank comes across people, he finds all kinds of dangers in this new world … seemingly from the threat of a being only known as the Dragon. Yet, Frank doesn’t complete go through the wasteland in one piece.

The Good:

Whynot (which is his actual name and so fucking awesome!) presence us a great mash of Frankenstein meets Trigun .. and it works well. The bleak art creates a moody and dangerous atmosphere, allowing readers to really feel the bleekness and danger of this wasteland. Whynot’s background and characters are sharp and gritty, allowing to really embrace the atmosphere that Whynot creates in this world. The gritty art still conveys emotion like terror and surprise extremely well. The use of color, or lack their of, is used fairly well here. The only use of red was definitely used well here to show blood or things that are dangerous. It is a smart choice from Whynot, showing readers that red means bad in a simple way. Whynot does some wonderful framing for his panels, making BOLTS_01_digital-7the book have a nice flavor. The perspectives are good, allow each picture to convey the action well. And Whynot’s art is distinct enough to see some strong influence of webcomics, classic comics and animation that really can be seen based on panels within the first issue.

The actual BOLTS_01_digital-6writing for the first issue does present us with a decent protagonist. Frank is very unique. He doesn’t match a typical Frankenstein, but he does have a very realistic reaction to his surroundings and situation. Frank is definitely lost and Whynot keeps him lost for the majority of the issue and it makes sense. This is a new surrounding. He doesn’t know it and he doesn’t have much time to rest, much less ask questions. We do know about the dragon. The set up is simple. There are hints of more to Frank than panic and cursing, which we get small glimpses of here and there. Nothing in the issue sounded or felt forced when dialogue was in use, allowing the characters to have an authenticity.

The Bad:
I do enjoy the art. Yet, the were a few panels I had to look at a few times to be sure what it was. Also, Frank was entertaining, but could have had a bit more development. Sure, there were glimpses of it, but I guess I wish we got to see another side of Frank before whoever he talked to ended up dead.

The Verdict:
Bolts #1 was a very interesting romp into a world of fantasy. Whynot crafts a new world here that has all kinds of dangers while also not being afraid to show us visually the depths of our surroundings. Whynot gives enough to introduce us to the characters, the status quo and our target for the book. Yet, Frank was a bit lack luster at first. While his reactions were authentic, I didn’t feel like I could attach myself to him till after he had gotten his body mangled. Otherwise, Frank is an ok guy, just needing a bit more development. The art was sharp and unique. And I do enjoy the feel for the book and characters. And interesting read that can get better from here.