Story and Art By: Jorge Corona
This new story by Jorge Corona is set in a Dickensian world where the poor prey on the poor and the entitled scoff at visiting the scum filled city of the Maze. There is already a sense of mystery and lure for me in this world, as the world closely resembles a time period where “it was the best of times, it was the worst of times”. Feather focuses on an old beggar, but is narrated so that he seems trusting even though we have never met him or seen his past so that we can judge his merit. The beggar finds an abandoned child in the trash heaps of the city and decides to help it. A noble deed for anyone to volunteer for, but in this comic it is even more admirable as the child is covered in feathers (and later we find out he has hollow bones perfect for flight). Poetically named, Poe is now an eleven year-old mischievous young boy and wants to join the other Rats, as they have been called by the Mazetown guard and a mysteriously cloaked figure.
The direction this comic takes is a little played out, where the poor hero of the city is feared by those who see him and protectively kept hidden away for his own safety, but all our young disfigured hero wants to do is get out and see the world (See: Hunchback of Notre Dame). Even more familiar is the scenario that is going to be the “meat and potatoes” of this comic, where a nobles daughter, Bianca, just wants to see the poor but mystifying city and the adventure it holds. However, she subsequently gets lost and mixed in with the street rats. Though the concept of this comic’s core is not groundbreaking, the endgame is still very unclear and makes me want to read on to explore this city with Bianca and Poe, as well as find out what role the “Pied Piper” as I will call him until he is given a name, has to do with the cities poor children dubbed rats.
The artwork and story go nicely hand in hand. There is a cartoony feel to the illustrations, in the sense this is not a realistic world with exact details, but a slightly exaggerated decomposition and deconstruction of the city. The coloring though is fantastic and conveys that sense of wonder and desperation that is in this city. The overall feeling I get from this Archaia comic book is the same awe from the other titles in the lineup. Which is a fantastic world that I just want to dig into to experience the rich characters and colors, all this from just one issue.