Silent Leaves: The Last Bondsman (Book One) (Studio Ronin / DMF Comics – Shy)
Long ago, The Prey nearly exterminated the human race. Only the ancient and mysterious Bondsmen were able to drive them back and turn the tide. Now, 500 years later, humanity must prepare for war once again.
Only IAN knows the secret of the Bondsmen, but will she be able to find them in time – for the Prey have returned – and no one has seen the Bondsmen since their betrayal 400 years ago.
The last of humanity protects themselves from creatures inside a massive fortress called the GodWall. This is the world of the Great Decay – the world of Silent Leaves.
This book is written and directed by Christopher Shy, by directed I think it means it was his vision and his artistic backbone that gave the book it’s feel. This is a collection of a nine-part, 3-issue series that came before, now in it’s original vision. (nine-part trilogy… yea, I don’t get it either)
And the vision is a beautiful one, this “dark fantasy wasteland of a future” book is perhaps the most
artistically stunning and compelling that I have ever seen. The art (minature, digital, by hand, combination?) is so visually addictive, it was hard to move the page because I was convinced I had not seen all the details given. After checking this out, I can see why Christopher Shy (Pathfinder) has the reputation for being an out-of-the-box visionary. And on top of the fantastic images there is a certain uniqueness factor, the book has a very monotone color scheme done in black, whites and greens. It was funny, it wasn’t until I read it all the way through that I noticed that everything was greenish hues.
It’s a good thing that art blew me away because the story was pretty tough to follow. I know it was a well-thought out deep plot, but it was presented in a choppy manner. Reading this was a little like watching Blade Runner for the first time, except it’s the Director’s cut and you only get to see every other scene. I want to know more about this world, I want to know about IAN and her background… The world of Silent Leaves pulls you in without a doubt, it just doesn’t flesh out the story.
Grade: C (great art, but $12.99 for less than 30 pages?)