What REALLY happened to lost aviator Amelia Earhart? Your Major Spoilers review of Elsewhere #1 awaits!
Writer: Jay Faerber
Artist: Sumeyee Kesgin
Colorist: Ron Riley
Letterer: Thomas Mauer
Editor: Frank Pittarese
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously in Elsewhere: “Mysteriously transported to a strange new world filled with flying beasts and alien civilizations, Amelia desperately struggles to return home. Along the way, she forges alliances and makes enemies as she goes from aviator to freedom fighter in a rebellion against a merciless warlord!”
ESCAPE FROM LORD KRAGEN’S FORTRESS!
In the dark of night, outside a strange fortress, an access hatch is kicked open. Cort and Tavel, two members of the rebel alliance, slip out and make a run for it, avoiding patrols and flying steeds that would recapture them. As the make their exit, they hear someone calling for help in the woods, a creature unlike anything they’ve ever seen before (since they’ve never been to Kansas and all.) Freeing the strange maiden from her parachute, the rebels are stunned when she introduces herself as Amelia Earhart, and makes references to something called a “plane.” Though this world is clearly far from our own, it’s a word that they already know, have heard it in Lord Kragen’s fortress, which makes Amelia think that her copilot, Fred Noonan has been captured.
Stealing Borrowing a few flying steeds (one of which immediately imprints on Amelia, something unheard of), they make their way back to the castle to free her partner, only to find that the answer to “Who’s in the cell?” is much stranger than I expected…
THE OL’ FINAL PAGE ‘UH-OH!’ ROUTINE
I gotta say, I really loved that final page reveal, making me wonder about the nature/location and temporal mechanics of Elsewhere (and no, I’m not going to spoiler the ending, but it is good.) The pacing is brisk and exciting, Amelia makes for a fun central character (she quickly adapts to life on the run, with her emotions starting to catch up with her about halfway through) and I like the competing voices of Cort and Tavel. One is pragmatic and focused, the other less so, but more empathetic. The visuals are top-notch, as well, with Sumeyee Kesgin reminding me of Paul Smith, Rob Guillory of ‘Chew’ and Alex Toth at various points during the issue. The cover layout worried me, seeming somehow out of balance, with Amelia’s face too narrow and thin, but the interiors look lovely. Best of all, she can draw strange flying dragon-things alongside 30’s-era aircraft and make both look excellent. The villain is weird and otherworldly and her facial expressions are very well-done throughout the issue…
THE BOTTOM LINE: REFRESHINGLY UNIQUE
In short, this is a well-done issue playing with fantasy tropes and historical events at the same time, making for a nice hybrid of Tarzan and John Carter with a lot of potential adventure hooks and a legitimately jaw-dropping final moment. Elsewhere #1 makes you want more of this world, more exploration and expansion fo these concepts, doing so with really good art and earning 4.5 out of 5 stars overall. I love a book that dares to defy the superhero stranglehold on mainstream comics, and this one is unique, engaging and best of all, skillfully written and drawn…