3keys # 1

Oct 7, 2022


Mad Cave Studios


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3Keys #1 Cover

Though the title is 3Keys, it seems the only key that matters for Noah Carter is whiskey. With a bleach blonde bob cut, this full sleeve – and who knows where else – tattoo sporting retailer certainly doesn’t act like someone crucial to protecting the multiverse. Can she tumble into her true potential and join her family in protecting the invaders from the Dreamlands? Or is the fate of all there is sealed?

3 Keys #1

Image Comics

Created, Written, Drawn by: David Messina
Dialoue Assist by: Scott Tipton
Prologue Art by: Rita Petruccioli
Colors by: David Messina; Alessandra Alexakis
Letters by: Shawn Lee

3Keys #1 Int

3Keys #1 begins with a prologue from Noah. She fills readers in on how the multiverse works. Or what she understands based on the explanation she was given. This makes this portion a bit of a prologue and recollection. Rita Petruccioli’s images of the Great Old Ones have an old school, classic inking appeal. Using a simple selection of colors helps create a graphic novel feel; which compliments Noah’s narration. Of course that serious tone is lost when she reminds the reader there are things more important than saving the multiverse. Like the fact that it is new comic book day. Because when she’s not being a 3Key, Noah also works at a comic shop – now that is a dreamland.

The prologue transitions to give readers a look at this first key. She really gets all up in your face. This isn’t a bad thing and actually the above description fails to do her any justice. The full page spread highlights what her coworker later states about Noah. She may lack motivation but she can sell a book. Messina and Alessandra Alexakis’ colors are amazingly similar to the one’s Petruccioli uses in the prologue. But there is a shift to a traditional, even manga style here, a great jump transition from the opening section of this comic.

While Noah’s daily life seems normal, her “cousins” are quite offkey. During this section helps 3Key’s establish a balance between what the keys are protecting and what they face. Dale has been training and tracking demons with her mentor from Ulthar. It becomes clear why no man may – or would want to – kill a cat in Ulthar once you meet Jacob. The artistic experts work to create a comic book that feels straight out of an episode of Ink Master. Bold solid black lines help add depth and definition to every panel. Readers also get a glimpse of some creatures they can expect in this comic in the form of both one of the cats from Ulthar and the Olkoth, which is the demon Dale is hunting. The art feels alive, seeming to leap off the page – almost like they should require 3–D glasses.

There is one massive and a few smaller stories to discover in the pages of 3Keys #1. Reader’s know from the prologue there is one key we haven’t met yet. Also, there is the question of why Dale and Noah’s mentors “train” them differently. Noah parties hard and isn’t hard on the eyes. But with the multiverse at stake hopefully there is more to unlock.

Score: 8.4


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