The Wind Rainder #1 (of 3) (Ape Entertainment- Finney / Loftis / Hardman / Farritor / Kelly)
A deadly destiny collides with mythological past in a windswept world dominated by evil. Catch in the exciting action as the Ki Warrior, Tristan, tries to extract revenge from the Overlord Dagon. And witness the death…and rebirth of Joshua as he becomes the next… Wind Raider! Gabe Hardman, Hollywood story board artist for such theatrical franchises as “Spiderman” and “The X-men,” has created a visual masterpiece of science fiction fantasy. Remember- when you control the Wind…you control the future.
As usual, when reading a new indie comic, one of the first things that struck me about this book is the art. And it struck me right between the eyes, really hard and really fast.
BEAUTIFUL!!!I did not know that a story about a dirty, dusty “deadlands” desert culture could be so gorgeous! The artistic and creative synthesis of Gabriel Hardman (art) and Micah Farriotor (colors) leaves almost nothing in the way of criticism and takes an already great story and moves it into the “epic” category. I hope the industry will be seeing quite a bit more from these two in the future!
From the first frame, with the Tatooine-ish landscape riddled with craters and rock formations, to the post-doomsday trader village to the end battle scenes and the ever-present grit, the art moves and grips the reader and allows us to feel the setting and accept the environment. This is exactly what a science fiction story like this needs, because then the reader can dive into the story and characters and buy into it fully and not get hung up in the physical background.
While the Wind Raider story does have some recognizable classical “hero” elements (chosen one / peasant hero, mystic mentor, dead father, special powers, etc.), it very much works with the story rather than against it. The skilled narrative (props to Richard Finney and Dean Loftis) gives the reader story characteristics and plot devices they are familiar with, but presents them in an enticing and well thought-out manner rather than shiny and cliche. I found myself putting the main character, Joshua, in the same category as Luke Skywalker, rather than labeling him a Luke rip-off.
In this first issue, we are introduced to Joshua, a very talented and resourceful tweener who is just trying to look out for his family and do right by them in a “watch your back” world. And we also meet the complex order of the Ki Warriors. These guys are part Jedi and part combat-thirsty pirate and all bad@ss! By the end of the ish, where we are at is that through one lucky find, Joshua’s world is turned upside down and it’s up to a renegade Ki to set it right again.
Between the art and story, this is exemplar of what an Indie book should be!
Issue grade: A+ (and I look forward to the next ish!)
Note From Greg: I really have to echo Eric’s thoughts on this book. While I’m not quite done with it yet, I do feel like I’m on the ground floor of something special. I hope the rest of the comic book community takes notice of these creators because they are note-worthy.
sample art from the book below