Best Foot Forward features outstanding comics that create an amazing, memorable, and impactful first issue.
Written by: Frank Cho
Art By: Frank Cho
Published: Sept 7, 2016 by Boom! Studios
There’s something interesting when it comes to the unknown. We, as humans do, are completely intrigued by the idea of the unknown. While simultaneously, we also become obsessed and frustrated when you cannot find the answers we seek. When it comes to comics, often times the unknown factor is what keeps us coming back. A story begins to unravel, taking its twists and turns, but never delivering a full answer to the questions we have until the very end. It’s a tough balance to walk for any storyteller because you want to bring intrigue, not frustration. You want mystery, not agitation for your readers. Well folks, let me tell you, Skybourne by Frank Cho managed to intrigue the living heck out of me in a single issue, and let me tell you…I’m hooked.
I’m not exactly sure of the psychology behind this desire to know what isn’t known. What I do know is that it fuels storytelling like no other. If you can combine a sense of conflict with a deeply intriguing mystery, what you end up with is a story people can’t put down. What you have is Skybourne. This book absolutely flipped me on my head. I had no idea what it was about, thus I went into it with no expectations. What I received was a lightning fast pace, beautiful artwork, and a gripping story that nearly told me nothing, while simultaneously giving me just enough to keep me wanting much, much more.
Skybourne, as best I can tell from issue one, is about a group searching for Excalibur. Yup, you read that correctly. A group of, what appears to be military folks, and one bad-ass super-powered lady, are hunting down the mystical sword of old. Also, right from the beginning, we see a guy fall from the sky, crash into the ground, then this due swears to himself like he landed on a pillow instead of the bedrock of the earth. If you’re slightly confused at this point, let me reassure you, I was also confused. It’s a weird intro, and really the only info you’re given is that this dude who plummeted into the ground, apparently, isn’t effected by it. From that scene, we switch to the military squad hunting the sword, to which a dude literally gets chopped in half by the super-powered lady. Not with the sword, no she doesn’t need it, instead she just uses her bare hands. Yes, she bare handed chops a dude in half, then proceeds to hulk smash through a vault door as she chases the guy down who is carrying Excalibur.
Now, as always, I’m going to stop right there, because I’m treading really close to getting into spoiler zone, and I don’t do that. Instead, what I’ll do is simply tell you that things only get even more wild and mysterious, a dude with magic powers shows up like he just came from a Renaissance Faire, and a freaking awesome fight ensues. Meanwhile, the dude who fell from the sky…I have no clue what happened to him. He literally crashes to the ground, cusses to himself, then nothing. I’m mentioning this because between that moment, the superpowers our lady demonstrates, and the magic man, what we see is that this is no ordinary story. Frank Cho has crafted something wild, and because he’s also doing the artwork, this is a topnotch story being unfolded by spectacular art.
If you’re not familiar with Frank Cho do yourself a favor and look up some of his work. He is a brilliant artist with a style all his own, and the ability to really put dynamic characters onto the page. His visual storytelling is one of the best out there today, and in my opinion, it looks like Skybourne is going to be his best yet. Every page is beautifully drawn, the paneling from one tot he next drives this story home. It’s one thing to tell a story that moves quickly, but it takes real skill to visually deliver a frame by frame action sequence that feels like its racing by on a comic page. I hit the last page and nearly jarred myself because I couldn’t believe I went through it that fast. I was enraptured almost immediately, and by the end I just sat back and smiled because issue two is due out at the end of October, and I’m legitimately anxious to read it. I might even pull a car read wherein I’m so in need of the next issue I literally read it in the parking lot of my comic store. Also, a quick side-note, I Hate Fairyland is the only other comic this year to have got me to do that…Skybourne is that good.
One last thing to mention, and it might be my favorite aspect of this book that doesn’t have to do with the story itself, is that Boom Studios is publishing this. I’m not sure if you’ve been paying attention, but holy crap they are knocking out some killer books this year. I know that sounds like an ad for Boom, but they aren’t paying me, so take it as you will. If you haven’t been looking at Boom books, do better with your life. They are legitimately publishing some amazing stuff right now, Skybourne being one of them. With that said, go read this book, you’re welcome, and see everyone tomorrow.