- Michael Radosti (Writer)
- Chris Campana (Artist)
- Ronald Wybranier (Colors)
"Kantara" tells us the story of Ris, an orphan boy who is kidnapped by Lord Orem, to further his evil schemes. If the names are not an indication for you, this is a work of Fantasy. Complete with (in the first 5 pages) Dungeons, Dragons, Swords, and Sorcery! Ok, I'll admit, you have to get at least about 13 pages in before it is actually, "Swords" until that point there is just a singular sword, but... you get the point.
Nearly the entirety of issue 1 takes place in a dungeon, while the protagonist Ris is tortured by the magical Lord Orem. Orem seeks information from the boy, and is not afraid to torture the boy nearly to death to get that information.
It has all the makings of a basic fantasy tale. Ris is cast as the the young farm boy, who eventually becomes the savior of the world (don't know if that will actually happen or not, but... just bare with me). Orem is cast as the tyrannical ruler, complete with an army of orcs , bent on destroying all who could oppose him.
The series follows a slow progression in the first three issues, setting up the world, establishing characters, etc. A forgivable contrivance, as any fantasy story has that initial period where the reader is introduced to the world, and how things operate in the confines of those rules. Since these three issues are just the establishing bits, I will not say too terribly much about the story. I will say, that based on my rather extensive fantasy reading, these first three chapters bode well for a strong follow up. I may have to follow up on the story after a few more issues are released.
Also, I'd like to say I dig Chris Campana's art in these first issues. It fits well stylistically with the story being told. It doesn't take away from the story at all, and changes as the story necessitates.
All in all, this looks like it could be the start of a very interesting story. So far, there are a few things I think the story is lacking. It does not offer up a strong female protagonist (a problem that crops up in many fantasy settings). I'd like to see that rectified in the future, and it is kind of hinted at that there will be one in the third issue. Things do seem a little slow, but there is an entire world to build, so I'm giving that one a pass.
The most exciting thing in the series is found just inside the cover of the third issue. It would appear that they created an entire language for dragons, and put up what each of the symbols means, and how to pronounce those symbols. A very nice touch that, if it plays out right, could add that extra bit of flavor that I think could set this above some similar fantasy settings.
FINAL THOUGHTS: This is a book, that you will likely only find available online at the creators website (Click on that link to buy it for yourself). Sadly, this necessitates shipping. I have high hopes that in the future, these books will be offered in a digital format, which should help get it out to the readers. However, in the end, I look forward to seeing how this story progresses, as well as seeing how they set themselves apart from the rest of the fantasy genre. This is definitely a title to watch.
22 PAGE GRADE: A very solid B.
(No art included at this time, due to it not being readily available.)