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We have a brand-new team from Image Comics with writer Mat Groom, artist Eduardo Ferigato, colorist Marcelo Costa, and letterer A Larger World Studios’ Troy Peteri. They created the spectacular sci-fi comic Self/Made #1 that will surprise you with its promising set-up. This issue offers us the warrior Amala Citali as our protagonist. 

She lives in The Kingdom of Arcadia. A peaceful place that comes with chaos creeping closer and closer to its borders. While the villain is the deadly mage Teronak, he’s more than what he seems. Despite some members knowing it’s a suicide mission, the Arcadian military challenges Tenorak’s followers; they come to lose to devastating effect. 

Self/Made #1

As a result, Amala is the one person who survives the massacre of her squadron. Due to her chance meeting with the haughty Prince Brycemere and his firemancer companion Tomlin, she gets a second chance. The individual who slaughtered her comrades will bleed out at any cost.

Whoever Wrote Self/Made #1 Read Lord of the Rings As A Kid

I’m going to start off with the negative positioning of the writing, then go forward into the positives of the overall issue. They covered the speech bubbles with words; it takes a moment for my reading comprehension to kick the story into focus. I’d recommend breaking up the dialogue so it’s easier on the reader’s eyes. In addition to being a physical strain, this denseness lends itself to a lot of exposition, as opposed to showing you the world. Despite the complaint, this writing does fit the high fantasy style.

Self/Made #1

I think regular readers of this particular genre will do well with this first issue. What this tells me is that he knows how to write because he follows those conventions, but also manages to deconstruct them. You can see there’s a strong characterization between Prince Brycemore and Amala that holds its own. Groom also does quite well with his humor and he shines in a tense scenario.

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I didn’t find myself bored with Self/Made #1, but it did take a few tries to catch all the details. On a different note, I wonder if the writing style is going to change moving forward in Self/Made #1. There’s a moment that tells me this status-quo may not be kept in the narrative. He has an opportunity to show a wide range of his skills. We’ll have to see in the next issue that I anticipate with bated breath. 

Art As Hot As A Dragon’s Flame In Self/Made #1

Eduardo Ferigato’s style is beautiful in its detailing of the setting and his characters. I love his use of coloring to denote transitions within the story. He moves from bright colors to darker colors as the situation and mood changes. As for Amala, she has a character design that you won’t forget in ten minutes when you read another issue of something else. I always like when you can point out an artist’s work and know that it belongs to them. 

My problem is that the writing and the art don’t help each other out. The exposition slows the art down when it tries to be dynamic. At times, the art also seems suited for a different style of writing. I’d call it growing pains that have the qualities to make an amazing collaboration.  

Why Should You Read Self/Made #1?

In any case, you’ll likely need a second issue to judge whether you’ll like the twists and turns in Self/Made #1. I’m seeing a comic that wants to place the pieces in the correct order to create a grander plot. The follow-through is going to be important for this particular series. Currently, what we have is a strong set-up with beautiful art and an intelligent protagonist that promises an interesting turn-of-events.

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People who know me in real life, however, do recognize me as a betting woman. This was an advanced review, but I’m going to spend $3.99 to buy my own copy. It’s in order to support the creativity behind this work and to smoosh the art in my face. You can use that information in any way you prefer to use it. 

Unique Twists
Amala is Solid as a Character
Strong Set-Up For Grander Plot
Conflicting Art and Writing
Dense Text
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