He stands between the evil of the spirit world and the world we know. Now collected for the first time, read the opening issues of the most original series in years with The Anchor Volume One: Five Furies.
He stands between the evil of the spirit world and the world we know. Now collected for the first time, read the opening issues of the most original series in years with The Anchor Volume One: Five Furies. Find out if it is worth your money after the jump.
As you may have read in some of my past reviews, I am really a big fan of this series. So when I had the chance to review the first collection of this great series, I jumped at the chance. Interestingly enough, I found that the experience of reading it all in one sitting differed somewhat from waiting for the monthlies to come. Was it a better experience, or worse? Well, letâ€™s talk about that a little.
First off, if you have ignored the coverage here at Major Spoilers, shame on you. Hereâ€™s a quick summary of this series: The Anchor is a mysterious, hulking being who exists in two plains. Not only does he protect our world from demons and monsters in a physical sense, his spirit also guards the gateway to our physical world. He alone stands against the immeasurable armies of the demon General Leung, obliterating legions of evil to stop them from entering out world. Not hooked yet? Well, on our plane of existence, he has been dubbed Clem, (after St. Clement, patron of metalworkers and blacksmiths) and while battling monsters straight out of your nightmares, he is assisted by a young relief volunteer/history student named Hofie Eriksdotter. Along the way, he has also befriended a young boy named Matthew, the ghostly victim of one of the creatures defeated by Clem, and Colonel Increase McBride of Darpa Tactical Technology. Clem is drawn across the globe by the presence of monsters, known as the Furies, and as he defeats them he gains little bits of knowledge about his own past. The story of his past is released in small snippets. Even with all revealed in these four issues, you feel as if there is yet more to tell, and there is. So far, the story of how he went from a berserker Viking warrior to a holy man to a slayer of monsters and demons in our modern day is every bit as entertaining as the story of his adventures in our time.
In The Anchor, Phil Hester and Brian Churilla have brought us a story that is one part mystery, one part action, and one part supernatural adventure. The character of Clem could have very easily fell into the same routine as other supernatural/action stories, but a smart story and a well thought out background stop it from being a retread of a well traveled genre. It doesnâ€™t hurt that Hester writes dialogue so well. It seems that some writers forget that every character should have their own personal voice which stems from their personal history and experiences, but Hester does it nicely. Hofi sounds like she struggling to help a person in need who happens to be her friend, Matthew comes off every bit the young child, and Clem has an air about him that speaks of holiness even when he is covered in blood and biting into the heart of his enemies. The characters are all products of their environments, even if we never see those environments on panel.
Additionally, the art work by Churilla is great. It is loose and alive, and the characters all have a feel that, even with a slightly cartoon style, comes off as solid. His demons and monsters are truly demonic and monstrous, and they really are just that. No horns and red skin for this book. The entire casts of antagonist have an organic feeling to them that makes you wonder how they would look in the real world. It is unexpectantly appropriate work, and it matches the story well. There are some disturbing creatures in here; really the stuff of nightmares.
As mentioned in the beginning, this first volume from Boom Studios gives you the initial four issues of the series, an eleven page cover gallery, and art work from the 2010 Emerald City Comicon. While there is nothing in the way of prologues or forewords, you get the full first story arc, and that is the most important part. At a $9.99 price point, this is also a very affordable trade, and it makes a great jumping point for new readers. You can also pick up the fifth issue of the series on the same day, and get a little something extra as you enjoy the ongoing adventurs of Clem and Hofi as they battle monsters across the globe. This trade gets a solid 4 out of 5 stars, and will be placed proudly on my bookshelf.