SHAHRAZAD # 1
Written by Kim Hutchison & Kari Castor
Art by Mike Krome & Nei Ruffino
Letters by HDE
Big Dog Ink/Aspen Comics
Review by Frankie Rodriguez
What Happened: We are introduced to Shahrazad, a lieutenant on a ship. We meet her just in time as they are attacked by the Sirens of lore and a kraken. With her ship destroyed, her and her crew come to an island where more danger is hinted at … and Shahrazad must take the lead to save her crew.
Big Moment: Seeing Shahrazad fight underwater was pretty damn epic.
Krome and Ruffino kick off this issue with a bang. We got some great art by this team as they draw us into the world of Shahrazad. With a blend of modern looking tech alongside fantasy elements … like giant bats that are used as planes alongside a glider … Krome and Ruffino make sure this work looks and feels realized.
Krome and Ruffino present us with detailed characters and backgrounds that suck us into this new world easily. We get some wonderful color work from Ruffino that just pronounces Krome’s art extremely well. Krome gives us plenty of things to look at with great detail … Sirens of different shapes, giant bats with saddles on them, a diverse looking crew and much more. The panel work is solid with great perspective shots of characters. We get a lot in this issue from Krome and Ruffino … underwater battles, giant ship getting crushed, flashbacks … all rendered beautifully. A true feast of the eyes to kick off Big Dog Ink/Aspen Comics partnership.
Hutchison and Castor make this first issue a great read. Our writers open with great narration that carries throughout the entire issue and balance it out well with the action and the dialogue. There are plenty of things that are offered as we are introduced to the world of Shahrazad. The plot of the first issue was simple and Hutchison and Castor make our main character easy and relatable to follow. Shahrazad is charming in her own right, but definitely isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty or work hard. She had the respect of her crew and holds that respect throughout the issue, which is refreshing.
With the crew now on that island, more danger should be approaching them. Castor and Hutchison mixes old mystical elements and elements of the Arabian Knights lores well; creating a first issue with great tension, action and character development. We see a significant character to Shahrazad die and the reaction seemed very authentic for the way we are presented her character. The dialogue also followed well, being easy enough to read but still in the spirit of the world that it is trying to create.
And while we really didn’t get to know any supporting characters yet, Shahrazad definitely presents herself well and in multiple lights.
Shahrazad #1 gives a lot within the pages of its first issue. The art is excellent. The story is good. Our main character is multifaceted and we are presented with an interesting world of lore mixed with a little modern. Krome and Ruffino’s art just make you love every panel. Hutchison and Castor give us some strong trials that our main heroine has to overcome alongside some personal stakes. While we don’t know much about her crew yet, the overall story carries along nicely. I give Shahrazad # 1 a 4 out of 5.