After reviewing Sevara #0 last year, I never expected that the first full installment of the series would take place in a society that is a throwback to ancient and medieval culture with a few darker twists. The people follow the dictates of Mitan, who is hailed as a god, and humans are divided into kings and prones/slaves. When a young woman dares to run away from the palace, the king retaliates by cutting off the villagers’ water supply, condemning them to death by dehydration if the runaway is not found within three days. The royal hunters track the girl down, but a mysterious woman prevents her death and recapture. This protector possesses abilities greater than most humans, but why is she here and how will her presence affect the fate of the rebellious slave girl?
I expected Sevara #1 to pick up in the same universe as the intro material, so I was thrown off a little by the jump in timeline (It’s not completely clear yet whether Sevara has gone back in time or if Earth has regressed to a less industrialized state); however, the story sets up some interesting predicaments about the role of women in this world (The first question Sevara faces from two different characters is “Where is your husband?” which she finds ridiculous!) and how the protagonist’s past actions have created the problematic current society. It also shows the beginning of a strong bond between Sevara and the young woman she saves and shares her abilities with, which echoes the relationship she had with the young woman in issue #0.
Overall, men get treated pretty badly in Sevara #1. The king abuses his people in the name of Mitan and a broken heart, and the villagers are willing to turn on one of their own for daring to buck the status quo. There are hints of deeper character development for some of the major players, though. They just seemed fairly one note so far; however, I expect to be pleasantly surprised by how complex they will become over the course of the story.
The cover image of Sevara worried me a little. I feared that the proposed tale of female empowerment would actually be a cheesecake fest; however, the creators proved me wrong, because while the costumes are a bit on the skimpy side, both men and women (at least amongst the prones) receive equal treatment. Also, Sevara comments on the rescued girl’s clothing, although belly dance outfit might not be the best way to describe the faux animal fur number, and suggests finding more appropriate garments (slightly hilarious given the heroine’s garb!). Overall, both the artwork and coloring enhance the storytelling well, and readers will appreciate them both.
I’m not entirely certain what to think of the first full issue of Sevara since it’s so diametrically different from my expectations. It’s a strong story with excellent artwork, and I’m not sure where it’s going. I’m just a little disappointed to not get more of the story from issue #0; however, maybe I’m shooting myself in the foot. This plot promises intriguing developments and more insights in Sevara, so I definitely want to be along for the ride.
4 Cracks about Cave Girls out of 5