‘Reyn #1:’ Advance Comic Book Review

Reyn, a brand new sword-and-sorcery series by Kel Symons (w) Nate Stockman (a), and with colors by Paul Little, starts off with a full-page panel of a lone horseman in the distance, marching through a scorched, wind-swept landscape, accompanied by some concise narration.  The speaker tells us about an order of great warriors, servants of light and protectors of the land, Fate.  The Wardens, as they are known, have faded into the stuff of legend since an event called The Great Cataclysm, which ushered Fate into a millennium of darkness.  But now, in the form of this solitary warrior, Reyn, the forces of light are back.

Following our hero, Reyn, the rest of the comic moves at a gleefully brisk pace, showing the reader a day in the life of a solitary-guardian-of-peace-haunted-by-some-sort-of-invisible-Goddess-of-light-and-tasked-with-protecting-a-vast-land-from-the-forces-of-darkness.  We get everything you’d expect in a great fantasy story, from battles with giant spiders to badass sorceresses to villainous ninja-turtle-looking beasts bent on maintaining the shadowy status quo.  But, while the comic appears on its face to be a straight up fantasy and works well as such, the story styles itself after the Leone Dollars Trilogy, says Symons: “When I pitched this to Image, I said the vibe for the series should be ‘what if Frazetta painted spaghetti westerns?’”  From the grim stoicism to the porous moral fiber, Reyn oozes Eastwood’s Man With No Name character.  

Symons’ writing has been favorably compared to Joss Whedon, especially in reference to his ongoing series, The Mercenary Sea, also from Image, which can be broadly described as Firefly but in submarine instead of a spaceship.  Pleasantly, some of that Whedon-esque wit and humor persist in this new series, with Reyn being simultaneously heroic and sort of silly as he talks openly to the invisible Aurora, the Goddess of Light, to the bewilderment of friends and foes around him.  It’s a series that while thoroughly action-packed and intense also maintains a playfulness and sense of fun.  Issue #1 of Reyn from Kel Symons is off to a strong start and is highly recommended for fans of fantasy, spaghetti westerns, and unapologetic ass-kicking.

Sam Rhodes

Favorite MovieYojimbo
Favorite Game:  The newest version of Halo
Favorite Beverage:  Ballast Point's Big Eye IPA

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