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X Isle #1

Posted: Tuesday, June 20, 2006
By: Robert Murray



Writers: Andrew Cosby & Michael A. Nelson
Artist: Greg Scott, Sunder Raj (colors)

Publisher: Boom! Studios


Upon looking at the previews for this series and the cover of this first issue, I vowed, quite vehemently, that I would not include any mention of the TV show Lost in my review. This last sentence will be the only time the show is mentioned here, I swear! However, after reading this issue, I found that the story really doesnít owe that much to the ABC program. Rather, it is more of a mix between the NBC show Surface and Jurassic Park, concerning a scientistís quest for a new species and a strange island that might hold the key to this species, provided that the scientist and his cohorts can survive the experience. But, I need to get one L-show reference off my chest: the scene which lands the crew of the Victory on the shore of this island is very reminiscent of the anomalies plaguing the castaways from the J.J. Abrams show that airs 9:00 on Wednesday nights (I know, Iím being ridiculous!). The island sucks the ship in with a combination of weather and misdirection. And, the island itself is uncharted territory, existing where no known land mass has been discovered in the South Pacific. Sounds familiar, right?

Well, like I said, thatís where the similarities to the L-show end. What sums up this comic book is cover to cover excitement, with nary a dull moment to ponder. The pacing of the story is very quick, leaving the reader almost breathless at the break-neck speed with which events are occurring. We find out about the tentacle-like creatures, we board the boat, the boat sinks, we end up on the island, and we encounter live tentacle creatures. Yes, this issue could have been a little more introspective and character-driven, but I believe the pacing is perfectly fine for the tale being told. The main characters are familiar types of fictional people given enough play and dialogue to create some aspect of their personalities, allowing us a rooting interest early on. For instance, there is Dr. Kellerís daughter Sarah, who seems the prototypical twenty-something daughter, excited about the adventure and despondent when the adventure sinks into the sea along with the ship. Plus, Iím sure that Andrew Cosby and Michael Nelson will reveal the meaningful aspects of the creatures, characters, and island later in the series. Otherwise, what would the writers continue on about? The issue is almost constructed like the opening episode of an anime series, which begins with a bang to suck viewers in and then worries about the more affecting elements of the story. Needless to say, Iím sucked in like a raft (Okay, that was a bad pun!)!

Art-wise, X Isle represents a very effective presentation by artist Greg Scott and colorist Sunder Raj. The art reminded me in many ways of the animation used by Richard Linklater in the movies Waking Life and the upcoming A Scanner Darkly. On certain pages, it looks as if photographs were taken of real people, then Scott and Raj penciled and colored over those images. Their artwork creates a realistic tone to the issue that is very fitting with the story being told. I could imagine what the survivors were going through when the ship was destroyed and as they encountered the strange island in the middle of nowhere. This issue looks almost like an episode of a TV show, which Andrew Cosby knows something about. Cosbyís work in television has definitely helped with some of his comic book sensibilities, as his dialogue and his shock timing are very effective throughout the issue. Plus, I loved his Survivor reference late in the issue (ďI am curious about whoís gonna get kicked off the island first.Ē)! While the turbo pacing may be a little intense for some fans, I think most readers will agree that this is an exciting issue which leaves you craving more. Boom! Studios has once again given us a title that is worth reading and mentioning to other comic enthusiasts. My only hope is that the cover doesnít turn away more discerning readers who think this is a Lost clone (I almost made it!).



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