Chico Comics Page Review: Dissonance #1
Publisher: Image Comics
Creator: Melita Curphy
Writer: Singgih Nugroho & Ryan Cady
Illustrator: Sami Basri
Colorist: Sakti Yuwono
Letterer: Jaka Ady
Reviewer: Chris “The Bearded Wonder” Natale
Ever wonder what it would be like if celestial beings came to our planet and we didn’t immediately try to fight them (or blow them up)? Welcome to Dissonance. As a big fan of the science fiction genre, I was intrigued by the overall premise of this comic. Beings from an alternate perfect world stumble upon our planet to find their balance— to seek a conscience to complete themselves. In exchange for giving them our bodies to inhabit, these beings, known as XXX, also gave humanity advanced technology. Let me just say that Nugroho & Cady really know how to nail an opening to a new comic series. They are quick to tell the reader exactly what they are getting into and started the story off with a bang (literally). I found myself really caring for Folke Herviett, a boy who seemed to be doing the best he could with the cards that were dealt to him. His story is what really interested me, especially his relationship with his sister (I use that term very loosely, because of the way she really views him). Another character I would like to know more about is Alford E. Godblood (you can’t tell me that Godblood isn’t an awesome last name). Out of all the neatly designed characters, he stood out to me the most. I found it funny because he barely says anything at all (actions DO speak louder than words in his case). As comic book readers, some of us are drawn to the silent, badass types and I definitely count him as one of them. I will say that in my first read through, part of me enjoyed this comic, but another part of me did not know how to feel about it. I don’t mean that in a bad way. My second read through proved to be more fruitful than the first. I think that I was torn because I wish I was told more about one of the other main characters, Seraphim. It seemed like what was going on with Folke was casting a big shadow over what was happening with Seraphim. This did not take away from my enjoyment or admiration of the book itself; it is purely my observation as a reader. I will be reading the next issue because the story has done its job of piquing my interest.
Let’s get into the other elements that make this comic special: the art and colors used. I have never heard of Sami Basri before, but I will be keeping this artist on my radar. I really enjoyed the art of the different settings, the Fantasmen, and the humans. It really drew me in as I read each page and panel. For example, there was a moment where a character was shot in the head and Basri put that character’s head in between the letters of “SPL” and “AT.” My other favorite pages included two characters fencing (I loved how the fight was drawn out from start to finish) and then there are a couple pages where one character is whipping another while reminiscing about their past, but no words are exchanged during those pages. It is really impressive to me when an artist can convey emotion and depth within a character in this fashion. I don’t see that a lot in comics, but when I do, it is truly a treat. The colors by Sakti Yuwono only complimented Basri’s art and really brought the world of Terra Fantasme and its spiritual citizens to life. I feel that the colorist’s job is to not only understand the vision of the writer, but also to understand the vision of the artist even though they are starting with black and white pages.
Overall, Dissonance was an enjoyable read and I would recommend looking into it for the art and design of the characters alone. The Fantasmen interest me and I would like to learn more about them. Right now, I am currently rooting for Folke Herviett and Alford E. Godblood as my favorites. I would like to see more of Seraphim since I felt like I did not get much from him in this issue. I guess I will just have to wait and see.
Terra Fantasme was the perfect alternate world. A utopia which included beautiful weather, eye-opening landscapes, innovative technology, and an advanced culture (centuries beyond our own). Best of all, it was inhabited by great spiritual beings called Fantasmen. However, transcending their physical forms and being purely spiritual had its consequences. The Fantasmen had no conscience; therefore, war was imminent and it never ceased. That is until one day when some Fantasmen pacifists sought out another world that would provide them with a conscience. They sent an ambassador to find an ideal candidate for this. After a lengthy search, Earth was chosen. In agreement with the planet, the Fantasmen underwent a symbiosis where they would either half-synch with a human partner or rarely, full-synch. This symbiosis is known as dissonance. However, just because these Fantasmen now have a conscience does not guarantee that they will always do the right thing…
In the words of Herbert Morrison, Oh! The humanity… Dissonance #1 brings a utopia of higher spiritual beings from their world of Terra Fantasme to Earth. An intriguing story with highly detailed art and colors to match. I am interested to see how this world is fleshed out in the following issues. The official rating by the Bearded Wonder is a chinstrap on the beard scale, which is an 8/10.
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