Saturday, March 7, 2009

Amber Atoms #1

Amber Atoms #1
Story and art by Kelly Yates
Colors by Michael E. Wiggam
Published by Image Comics
Review by Lan Pitts

In the style of Flash Gordon and Ender's Game comes AMBER ATOMS. A sci-fi/adventure comic with a rich layout and wonderfully drawn characters and landscapes. The story begins with a sort of prolouge: the Dar-Tongo (ape-like creatures) reign is over and peace in the galaxy can start again. Flash forward to several generations later. The ruler of the Dar-Tongo, King Yamoon, even goes on a talk show and discusses how there is no animosity towards the "Great Rebellion" and assures the general population his race has grown and matured. Meanwhile, our heroine Amber Atoms is going after an assassin droid that got loose, but then her father shows up and finishes the job since he thought his daughter couldn't cut it.

Meanwhile on Richaati, Heart of the United Worlds, King Yamoon is handed some interesting news. His approval rating has just come in and he has placed third in the polls with all indications of further upward movement. The king's response: "Yes, excellent. Everything is going according to plan." Crafty little creatures. Back at the Atoms' dinner table, there is some heated words between father and daughter. Then, Amber is sent out to power off her workshop, but when she comes back home, she sees her mother on the ground and her father being man-handled by a blue-skinned warrior. Amber is spotted and one of the intruders open fires, but Amber escapes. However, Amber is shot from behind by a giant ant creature before she could make it to her weapons shed. Talk about a cliffhanger!

I really enjoyed this issue. Kelly Yates has a great style. Not just in his art, but the way how he presents it. The pages are never cluttered and incredibly structured. Now, there are a few spelling errors: poles, should be polls, for example. Nothing too outrageous that it didn't take me out of the story, and I'll just chalk it up as a rookie's mistake. Yates is doing a one-man show here and I can't give enough kudos for creators like that since he did the story, art and cover. He is accompanied by Michael E. Wiggam on colors, who did coloring on some Star Wars books and he just knocks it out of the ballpark. The best part, I thought anyways, was how Yates never went into how Amber is a girl. She's just Amber. She's a kick-ass character, though she may not exactly be the best at what she does. I also enjoyed the kid-friendly vibe from it. Easy to read and easy to understand, this would be a great book for a young comic-reader in the family. With the economy the way it is, it's a shame there isn't new material like this since books like this aren't really selling well. Image took a chance with this one, and I'm glad I took a chance on picking it up.

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