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‘Lantern City #1:’ Advance Comic Book Review

In the desolate, Steampunk world of Lantern city, there are three distinct classes: The Workers; the Guards; and The Greys.  The Workers and Guards serve to help the city survive within walls built long ago to protect the population from what is known as “The Desolation.” (The Greys are the upper class that we have yet to meet. ) The Workers, being the lowest class, suffer the most under the hands of the ruthless and faceless Guards. The story focuses on one such worker by the name of Sander. A loving husband and father, he is torn between keeping his head down to protect his family or aiding his brother-in-law in revolt.  But, whether it is a difficult decision to make is left to be seen as inaction means a slow death and joining the revolt could mean a quick one.

The comic delves right into the action, setting up the “haves” and “have-nots” quickly. Even though I’m not a big fan of using voiceover captions as exposition, in this case it is tight, spare, and works really well. We’re given just the information we need at the time we need it. Sander is a character we care about, though it would have been nice if we had learned the name of his wife, as well. (I hate to think she is used simply as a prop to show what a great husband and father he is.)  The pairing of the writer of the original TV pilot and the illustrated novel, Matthew Daley, with the very experienced comic book writer, Paul Jenkins, appears to have paid off.

Carlos Magno has done a terrific job with the art, giving us a rich, detailed world. It is a bleak and with little beauty, at least where the Workers are concerned. I’ve no doubt that when we finally see the world of The Greys, we will see something special. The colors also set off the desolate tone of these people’s lives with brief bits of brightness that made you realize how awful their lives are. Kudos to colorists Benjamin Carre and Carlos Magno.

Lantern City has been bouncing around the Steampunk world for quite a while but is now just making its first foray into the comic book world via Archaia/BOOM!  First presented as a potential TV show at comic conventions all over the country with Bruce Boxleitner and Trevor Crafts as co-creators and with a number of well-known sci-fi actors attached (Mira Furlan, Rafael Sabage, among others), it disappeared for a while only to resurrect as an illustrated novel.  Now, it appears that with the comic book deal, the TV show is back on track.

A twelve-issue series, I enjoyed the story very much, and I look forward to reading more.

Madeleine Holly-Rosing, Fanbase Press Contributor



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