Review – Feathers #1 (of 6) (BOOM! Studios)

Feathers_001_coverAPublisher: BOOM! Studios (Archaia)
Writer/Artist: Jorge Corona
Release Date: 7th January, 2014

Feathers is the first original work from creator Jorge Corona (Teen Titans Go!), and introduces us to Poe, a young boy who was inexplicably born covered in black feathers. Poe lives in the slum-like ‘Maze’, keeping out of sight of its inhabitants but finding himself drawn into the real world by his desire to help others. Earning himself the unofficial moniker of “the Ghost of the Maze” through his actions, Poe’s humble yet mischievous nature shines through right away, making him an instantly likeable protagonist as well as making us deeply curious about just why he was born the way he was.

A truly engaging all-ages story, Corona sets out his stall impressively in this first issue, giving us an insight into Poe and the world he inhabits while also dipping into his mysterious origins via the two unseen narrators who appear to be watching events unfold with great interest from afar. The series has all the hallmarks of a classic Disney or Grimm fairy tale, complete with sinister villains, mysterious legends and an overwhelming sense of adventure throughout. Corona wisely keeps things fairly simple here, focusing on characterization over exposition and creating a far more intriguing opening chapter as a result.

This first issue also introduces us to several of the supporting characters, including Bianca, a feisty young girl from inside the ‘great’ walled city who longs for adventure and a chance to see what lies beyond the white walls she calls home.  We also get a brief glimpse of an as-yet-unnamed villain, a mysterious child snatcher who lures children to their fates with an enchanting, Pied Piper-esque whistle.

Corona’s artwork remains vivid and dynamic throughout, even with his fairly muted colour palette made up primarily of blues, purples and reds, and his character design – particularly on Poe himself – is truly impressive. The children are all wide-eyed and animated, the grown-ups are stone-faced and serious, and the bleak, violent world of the ‘Maze’ is beautifully recreated to provide a stark contrast to the sterile, clean walled city. Visually this book is an absolute delight, and would be well worth picking up based on that fact alone. In fact, the fact that the story is so compelling and well-rounded almost feels like a bonus at times.

Overall, Feathers is a charmingly adventurous series that incorporates some of the best aspects from the fairy tales we all know and love to create something truly memorable.  I challenge anyone to read this first issue and not find themselves deeply invested in Poe and his mysterious origin by the time they put it down.  Another all-ages success story from the folks at BOOM!, who are undoubtedly setting the standard for this particular genre right now.

Rating: 4/5.

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The writer of this piece was: 576682_510764502303144_947146289_nCraig Neilson (aka Ceej)
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