Written By: Brendon Fletcher, Karl Kerschl
Illustrated By: Karl Kerschl
Cover By: Karl Kerschl
An adventure into a wild world of hunting, beasts, and magic. We follow two companions on their journey from exile, on a path of ambiguous hope.
What’s it about?
Isola is a comic with a tribal setting, the first issue of which immediately transports the reader into a fascinating fantasy world. Following the protagonist, a soldier named Rook, we are almost instantly met with the fact that the queen that Rook is protecting – Olwyn – has somehow been transformed into a tiger.
Throughout this first issue, we see Rook struggling to keep her composure as she guides Queen Olwyn through the wild land they find themselves in. Getting a glimpse into Rook’s worst fears early on in the issue allows the reader to really identify with her when she begins to lose her temper later on.
We are then introduced to the concept of colossal, bird-like beasts that exist in this world as Rook and Olwyn happen across a corpse. The monstrous nature of these beasts is implied when Rook says she “didn’t know they could die”. Here the issue shows how the ecosystem within this universe works with a gory scene of woodland creatures eating the corpse’s flesh, and the issue begins to explore Queen Olwyn’s teething problems – such as new unexpected urges – since having become a member of the animal kingdom.
At the end of this issue, we are introduced to yet another new character and led into the unknown.
Opinions and Such:
Rook is initially presented to the reader as a rugged, stoic soldier, but throughout the issue I found myself liking her more and more. Her emotions reached me, and I really empathized with her throughout. Her loyalty and devotion to Queen Olwyn is clear to see and shows that there are multiple dimensions to her character. I even began to wonder if there were any romantic connotations between the soldier and her Queen.
Presenting and changing the color scheme of the scenes throughout the issue in accordance with Rook’s changing mental state was, in my opinion, a fantastic choice that allowed me to really immerse in the plot. The character design was also appealing and memorable to me, particularly the color scheme of Queen Olwyn. As well as this, the way Olwyn’s facial expressions offered a window into her thoughts, despite her inability to speak, was an astute touch to the story.
This issue was very information heavy and was fast paced, but I thought this lent itself well to set up the story. Although events proceeded quickly, the issue didn’t feel rushed.