Amelia Cole and the Unknown World #2 from Monkeybrain Comics hits Comixology today, and Jude Terror will tell you whether it's worth the $1.99!
When we last saw magical heroine Amelia Cole (in Amelia Cole and the Unknown World #1) she was forced to flee her home in the magical world after her Aunt Dani, now deceased, was forced to seal the doorways connecting the magical world to her other non-magical one. So where did she go? To a third world, one where both magic and technology exist. But not all technology, as they don't take debit cards in the Unknown World.
That's right, Amelia Cole and the Unknown World builds not one, not two, but three worlds in its first two issues, an impressive feat for a little digital comic from upstart Monkeybrain Comics. But Amelia Cole and the Unknown World, just like Monkeybrain, has a lot of ambition. This isn't just your typical story about a young woman with magical powers. It has elements of, well, just about everything.
In this issue, Amelia quickly learns that a world with both magic and technology isn't as great as it seems. There are definitely some dystopian elements here. It's a crime in the Unknown World to use magical powers to help non-magical people, and if you break that law, it's not just the police you have to contend with. There are superheroes here too, of a sort. Superheroes who may do the bidding of a corrupt establishment. Luckily, Amelia's particular brand of wild magic is… different than the people of the Unknown World are used to.
Bringing all these different elements together in a way that works is no easy task, but just as writers Adam P. Knave and D.J. Kirkbride have done an impressive job of crafting three worlds in only two issues, artist Nick Brokenshire and letterer Rachel Deering bring that world to life with sequential art that is reminiscent of masters like Arthur Adams, Mike Allred, or even John Byrne in his Doom Patrol/X-Men: The Hidden Years era. This isn't your modern Marvel or DC spandex book, with overly-rendered colors and effects. The style is more iconic than photorealistic, which brings comic book characters to life far more effectively than photo-referenced porn models and lens flare, and every single panel in Amelia Cole and the Unknown World features a detailed background. Brokenshire understands that his job as an illustrator is to be a storyteller, not a fashion photographer.
What I really like about Amelia Cole and the Unknown World is that it is a comic book in the classic sense, not only for the artistic style, or even for how much storytelling and world-building is crammed into two short issues, but also because it uses the unseen spaces between panels to allow the reader's imagination to bring the action to life, a technique that once distinguished the medium but which is less and less common in today's landscape. This is a little bit ironic when you consider that Monkeybrain represents the future of the medium in new technology.
For $1.99 on Comixology, readers are guaranteed a fully realized fictional world, an intriguing story, likable characters, and a genuinely satisfying experience. If you haven't checked out Monkeybrain yet, this is a fantastic place to start. Amelia Cole and the Unknown World #2 hit the digital store today, August 7, and #1 is available there too. Might as well get them both!