Writer: Jason Rand
Artists: Juan Ferreyra (p), Clayton Brown (i), Angel Marin (colors)
Creator: Jim Valentino
Publisher: Image Comics
Revelations 1, Verse 4: “Grace unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come.” Emissary #1 opens immediately with this Bible verse, and it could be a little bit of foreshadowing for the remainder of the series. However, I think the verse is there either to set a mood or to reflect a public’s impression of an unbelievable occurrence. Revelations is known primarily as the book of the New Testament that deals with the end of days on Earth and the second coming of Jesus. To tie the Emissary to these apocalyptic events might be presumptuous on my part, but the creators are definitely setting the stage for big things in this character’s future. And I for one am looking forward to how these events play out, because the first issue of this series shows a ton of promise. I came into this title expecting a lot, due to the Previews coverage and the teaming of Small Gods creators Jason Rand & Juan Ferreyra. What I received was everything I was hoping for and great expectations for the future.
Like Small Gods, Emissary takes the idea of the super-human and implants him into the world we are used to, a world without flying muscle-bound heroes protecting us from ever-present evil menaces. One day, a man simply floats out of a crowd of people in New York City, announcing that he is the Emissary and that he is here to lead everyone into the future. Also, in the religious vein, he pronounces, “I have come to lift you up, to bring you to enlightenment.” Doesn’t sound like many comic book heroes I know! I thought about the second coming of Jesus in our post-9/11 world (which is made abundantly clear by the military presence in the issue). Would we know Him if and when he returned, or would we be so frightened by his appearance among us that we would seek his destruction? Yes, this comic made me examine my philosophies as a comic book reader and as a human being, and I think that speaks well for the writing gifts of Mr. Rand. His storytelling talents are without doubt, and I only wish he had more projects available that I could read (I still need to check out Helios). Along with this story of a mysterious powered entity, the issue intertwines four separate dramatic storylines. These four separate stories act as the narration, showing this strange coming from four different angles and viewpoints. Rand gives himself plenty of options here, and with these dramatic storylines being just as compelling as the overall main gist, I think this is going to be a fantastic series. Plus, Rand’s command of dialogue is top notch, showing that he can take normal speech patterns and write them into an effective comic script. Bravo!
Oh, and I haven’t even touched on Juan Ferreyra and Clayton Brown’s artwork! Or Angel Marin’s colors! Boy, there is a lot right with Emissary! The art in Issue #1 really brought me into the world that Rand has created, mainly due to the fact that everything is drawn, inked, and colored with realism in mind. I really believe if some dude was floating in the middle of Times Square, this is what it would look like. And, since the point of this comic is to examine the public’s reaction to this event, I think this is an excellent approach in artwork. The faces displayed in the panels show shock, amazement, and fear believably, and this made my reading experience an enveloping one, which is rare with most comics these days.
Emissary #1 is a must buy this Thursday. This series is among the best Image has to offer and is definitely on my pull list from now on. Make sure Emissary goes home with you!
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