SEVERED #1 is a slow-paced but atmospheric opening issue. The book begins in the late 1950s, with an old, one-armed man receiving a mysterious note. His family asks him what's inside and he begins to tell them about his childhood during World War I. The rest of this issue is a flashback of a 12-year-old boy who runs away from home to ride the rails and play music with hobos.
Writers Scott Snyder and Scott Tuft do a great job of introducing characters and filling the story with odd little details that somehow make the issue both more interesting and more believable. In the 1916 flashback, for example, there is a brief discussion on light bulbs, which would have been, apparently, still a novel technology back then. I'm not sure if light bulbs will be somehow important to the rest of the story -- I doubt it -- but I appreciate these extra details that Snyder and Tuft add to the story. It gives readers a better sense of what things were like in 1916, and makes it seem such a distant, almost ancient time compared to today's overstimulated, completely electronic world.
This is, ultimately, a horror story, and Attila Futaki produces exceptional illustrations that have the same feel as Bernie Wrightson's horror work. Futaki, like Wrightson, does not use crisp, ruled lines. Everything is either rough or wilted looking. Nothing is healthy, new, or strong. Futaki also includes rich details in every panel -- the old country houses, the gnarled trees, the primitive vehicles -- and creates a vivid, early modern world. The muted colors give each panel the look of sepia-tone photos, which only makes the story feel older.
SEVERED #1 is not a page-turner. You will not be reading rapidly to see what happens next. Rather, you will slowly move from panel to panel, reading the strange, dated conversations and taking in the beautiful art. Overall, I like the pace and style of this issue, and I look forward to seeing where this story goes next.
Last edited by Eli Katz
on Tue Aug 09, 2011 3:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.