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‘Skybreaker:’ Advance TPB Review

In a sentence: I feel Skybreaker missed the mark.

From its opening pages, a few key things are made clear. The first is that this is definitely a western-themed story from the style of clothing, dialogue, and overall tone. The second is that the guy with the gaping gunshot wound is supposedly our main character. Finally, the third is that this guy must have screwed over some pretty powerful people to end up this way. That’s where the consistent stream of information ends, however.

From there, the story jumps from location to location with no real transition between scenes, making it tough to pinpoint exactly what is going on, how much time has passed, and what exactly the main character’s (or any character, really) motivations are throughout this adventure. To take that notion a tad further, writer Michael Moreci never mentions exactly where the story is taking place or when, for that matter. I guessed early on that it must be somewhere between 1861 and 1865 judging by the Union-style uniforms the soldiers are wearing, and it wasn’t until the first mention of the Sioux tribe on page 66, that I had a general location for the world of Skybreaker.

While crucial information was either implied, sprinkled in as an afterthought, or vaguely mentioned with no great detail, Moreci writes interesting conversations that really bring out the true nature of his characters. I just wanted more of it.

Skybreaker doesn’t skimp on the violence, and Drew Zucker’s style really complements that aspect of the story well. His crisp line work paired with excellent black placement gives this comic the rugged, chiseled feel I’ve come to associate with Westerns. Jack Davies, Skybreaker’s colorist, does a fantastic job lighting each scene, easing the time problem I mentioned earlier. There are several moments, however, where I caught myself wishing for more variety in the panel angles in order to establish where these characters were anchored in a particular scene. Much of the story took place in a medium or close up shot, making it feel claustrophobic and crammed.

This is a hard one for me to recommend. Skybreaker has a good, solid concept that readers who are fond of Westerns will most likely enjoy; however, I feel it suffers from poor execution.




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