Publisher: A Wave Blue World
Writer: Tyler Chin-Tanner
Artwork: Josh Zingerman
Colourist: Doug Garbark
Letterer: Thomas Mauer
Release Date: 2nd October 2019
The Tzalekuhl Empire is sweeping across the land of Mezo, crushing under its feet any tribe that does not kneel before the Emperor and his god Kuhl. The latest tribe to face the unstoppable expansion of the Tzalekuhl are the Huax’kin. When she witnesses the execution of her father the tribal leader, Kyla must rally the remaining tribes before the entire world is sacrificed in the name of a bloodthirsty god.
Mezo is a sci-fi fantasy series that is clearly taking its influences from Mesoamerican cultures. It also has aspects of more advanced cultures with modern technology being employed by the Tzalekuhl, which belie the early weaponry and cultures being depicted. The world building in this issue is pretty good, and Tyler Chin-Tyler manages to get the exposition across really clearly with the minimum of fuss, leaving us concentrate on the action and characters. There is what could be a classic Romeo and Juliet thread to this story telegraphed during the battle between the Tzalekuhl and the Huax’kin, and whilst Vuh is painted as the despotic conqueror, there’s clearly a lot more to him than what we see on the surface.
The artwork does a lot of the heavy lifting in this issue, and it’s spectacularly delivered by Josh Zimerman. The detail is superb and reminds me a lot of the early Dark Horse Conan stories. The character and creature design is really well thought out, and while I have no idea what kind of beast Vuh and his giant throne arrives on, I do know that I want one! I also get to feed my fetish for really well done scenery and architecture in this issue.
I might be pushing my imagination but I’m pretty sure I also saw a couple of Lovecraftian references in the imagery. Everything is spot-on throughout. I was really looking hard for something to criticise but I genuinely enjoyed every panel. Of course, Zimerman’s art is supported by some top notch colouring from Doug Garbark, who really brings everything to life and adds to the drama and the spectacle.
This is a well thought out, highly polished and confidently delivered first issue of the quality you’d expect to see from a publisher like Image. I think that if A Wave Blue World can continue to turn out quality like this they’re going to be a force to be reckoned with in the comic book world.
The writer of this piece was: Mark Scott
Mark Tweets from @macoy_comicgeek