When Mae’s mother tragically passed, she couldn’t begin to imagine what she had left behind for her daughter. Your Major Spoilers review of Unikorn #1 from Scout Comics, awaits!
Writers: Don Handfield & Joshua Malkin
Artist: Rafael Loureiro
Colorist: Dijjo Lima
Letterer: DC Hopkins
Editor: Todd Smith
Publisher: Scout Comics
Cover Price: $1.99
Release Date: April 21st, 2021
Previously in Unikorn: After Mae’s mother dies in a car accident there isn’t much left for her to remember her by. In fact, all she really has is the fact that the woman who now owns the farm where Mae’s mother used to work, allows her to work there.
“DON’T GO NEAR HIS STALL”
Unikorn #1 opens with Mae riding with her father to the farm where Mae’s mother’s vet clinic used to be. Once there, she’s greeted by the pleasantly eccentric Mrs. McNulty, who owns the farm now. Mae sets out to do her chores. After completing a few of them, Mrs. McNulty says she’s not feeling well and asks Mae to take care of feeding the horse, Percival, but warns her to stay away from his stall. While feeding him, Mae hears Percival whining and decides to go into his stall anyways. She finds him stuck due to a bonnet on his head. She removes it to find a strange nub on his forehead. Afterwards Mrs. McNulty appears and having seen Mae handle Percival, gives her a key to her mother’s old office. She finds an old book that is written in a strange language. Later at school while she’s trying to translate it a boy shows up and starts to help her. She then realizes a shocking truth about her horse.
YOUNG ADULT TV VIBES
While there are some heavy themes in this book, they’re handled delicately and with a certain amount of whimsy that feels familiar to shows you’d find on Nickelodeon or The Disney Channel. In fact, a good portion of this issue has that similar tone. All the trappings of those shows are here: A scrappy main character who’s teased at school, a dorky sidekick who knows more than any typical kid his age would know, a quirky older character, and a distant father figure. There are some differences though. It does stop short of any sort of slapstick though, to its credit. The characters don’t feel childish either, they may fall into familiar categories, but they don’t feel like caricatures. Also, the way the secret book is presented is more sophisticated and complex than one might expect to see in a show like this. As for plot, this issue is pretty light as a lot of it is devoted to revealing Mae’s backstory and feelings about her mother’s death. But, it does still manage to get things established for further issues, so in that regard it’s an effective issue.
In keeping with the young adult theme themes, the art is soft, colorful, and expressive. All of the expressions and actions come off as somewhat dramatic as if to not leave any room for the imagination when it comes to what the characters are feeling and doing, but it works for this comic and helps make this a complete package for younger readers.
THE BOTTOM LINE: A STRAIGHTFORWARD YOUNG ADULT BOOK
Nothing in this first issue comes off as particularly original or fresh, yet that doesn’t diminish things as one might think. This is still a solid book for younger readers, both narratively and visually, that doesn’t talk down to them, or insult their intelligence, even if it doesn’t take a lot of risks. Unikorn #1 earns 3.5 out of 5 stars.
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Unikorn #1 isn’t going to push any envelopes or shock anyone, but it also isn’t trying to. It’s a straightforward beginning to a story and feels like a good fit for younger readers.