Rating: 4/5 – A Fresh Take on a Archetypal Character.
by ComicSpectrum reviewer Adam Alamo.
“What is Thomas Alsop? Who is Thomas Alsop?” These two questions hang in the New York City skyline, on the very first panel of the first page of Thomas Alsop #1, almost challenging the reader to find out. The short answer is that like generations of Alsop’s before him, Thomas is the Hand of the Island, which means he is charged with protecting Manhattan from supernatural threats. Enter the 21st century, and unlike his predecessors, YouTube has made him a celebrity.
In this debut issue, writer Chris Miskiewicz introduces us to a character that has been described as a cross between Doctor Strange and Constantine (though I saw it nore as a cross between Eternal Warrior and Doctor Spektor). Still, Miskiewicz presents Thomas Alsop in a way that makes the archetype feel fresh and new. And just as you get a taste for who the character is, Miskiewicz brilliantly transitions into the story of Thomas’s great, great grandfather, the first Hand of the Island. It is here that the issue moves away from character set-up and into the meat of the story. Then, just as brilliantly, Miskiewicz ties it all together on the very last page, leaving the reader properly primed for the rest of the series. I’m a very big fan of the way this issue flowed. It struck just the right balance between character development and story, leaving the reader wanting to know more about both just as the issue ends. Perfectly complimenting the story was the art of Palle Schmidt, which is not only beautiful, but also clearly marks the transitions in the story. While the background detail is somewhat lacking, I think the soft backgrounds helped set the proper mood to the story.
So who is Thomas Alsop? I don’t think we fully get the answer to that with this very first issue. As the story unfolds, I suspect he will be more than the sum of the parts presented. I think the real winner here is the story, which ties Thomas’s past and present together in a way that’s interesting and compelling. And it definitely compels me to read the next issue.
Reviewed by: Adam Alamo
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