One of the greatest things about comics is their ability to transport us to places we’ve never been before. I particularly enjoy it when we get to learn about cultures and situations I haven’t seen previously, and that’s where Black Sands Entertainment comes in.
Their series Black Sands: The Seven Kingdoms has been a real treasure to me because I’ve been taken somewhere I’ve never had the pleasure of experiencing before, and I’ve met new characters who provide me with a new perspective.
Not everyone who gets extra-normal powers uses them for good, it seems!
Writer: Manuel Godoy
Artist: David Lenormand
Colorist: Huan Lim
Letterer: VC’s Travis Lanham
Editor: Nick Lowe
Publisher: Black Sands Entertainment
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: September 2, 2019
SOLICITATION: The Shadow Gale holds the mysterious powers of the ancients but our heroes must first overcome a new and terrible foe to claim it. Can our heroes survive in their first encounter with the horrors of the past? Find out in this incredibly intense chapter of Black Sands.
THE SHADOW GALE!
“Today many of us will die. Know that the cost is worth it.”
One of the most interesting concepts this comic presents is that many of those in authority had powers that helped keep them in their roles. But we also learn that some of those individuals did not accept questioning from those they ruled.
That’s what happens in the early pages of this issue. In an underwater chasm, an expedition is seeking “the heart,” and when one of the followers dares to question an action, well, he doesn’t live long to talk about it!
That prequel sets the stage for a group of younger royals warriors who are travelling on a ship in search of great power, as they put it. But they might encounter “ancients” who have had unnatural power, and they know that obtaining this can secure their ability to rule.
What helps us get into this story is the humanity of the younger characters, especially. Although they have unique abilities, they still act like kids, and that helps us understand the danger of the situation in particular. I particularly like Nehbet, the girl who has a spirit self she can release to go into battle. Unfortunately, when a beast attacks the group, she misses her target and instead injures her own brother, Ausar. His powers are well suited for combat, and he expects to be a ruler one day, so he’s headstrong, which gets him into trouble at times. I also like Seth, who causes a rockslide to fall on the beast despite his initial hesitation when Ausar asks him to act.
Occasionally, the warriors talk in something resembling a current vernacular. This took place when Ausar tells the beast, “You done messed up now, Ugly.” This happens only in the proper moments, and it adds to the feeling of exhilaration as the young warrior is about to strike.
The characters truly live and breathe, and it’s easy to relate to them as they take on enormous challenges. It’s easy to tell them apart, and they have various motivations that we understand and relate to.
The pacing is quick, and the dialogue helps propel the story along rapidly. It’s a real page-turner, believe me!
CLEAR, POWERFUL ART
The artwork does a wonderful job of bringing us into the story, and I particularly liked the facial expressions of the characters. I had NO problem understanding what each felt, and that made me care about them immediately!
The action sequences really pop off the page! The aforementioned battle with the beast was told so well that I forgot it was a comic and instead thought I was watching a great animation of that event. Again, I couldn’t turn the page fast enough!
I also have to mention that I appreciated the backgrounds in this comic. I recently listened to a great artist talk about how important the backgrounds are, and in this series, they help transport the reader into the story. That battle with the beast happens in a cave-like structure, and I began to feel some claustrophobia (fear of being stuck in a small space) as things happened. That rarely happens, but it took my breath away! Well done!
BOTTOM LINE: An Engaging World
I first met the creators about a year ago at New York Comic Con. I’m always drawn to diversity in comics, so I picked up a few issues. When I got to read it that evening, I was hooked! Very real people having to deal with unusual situations, yeah, I’m into that!
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Black Sands: The Seven Kingdoms #5
Black Sands: The Seven Kingdoms has been a real treasure to me because I’ve been somewhere I’ve never had the pleasure of experiencing before, and I’ve met new characters who provide me with a new perspective.