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‘The Asiri: Volume 1’ – Trade Paperback Review

I love African science fiction. It’s fascinating to see views of the future that come from a non-Western perspective. So, when The Asiri came up for review, naturally, I was very excited. And I’m happy to report, it does not disappoint.

Many years ago, in an effort to save their city from ruin, the leaders of Asir discovered a source of limitless energy. That energy allowed them to connect with each other, communicate with each other, and do all sorts of amazing things together. It also enhanced their natural abilities and gave some of them superpowers. This allowed the city of Asir to grow and develop into a highly advanced society, the Kingdom of Asiri.

The beginning of the comic features a map of the Asiri Kingdom, an island off the coast of West Africa. We then quickly learn that the kingdom, in fact, now has colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroid belt, and beyond.

20 years ago, the Asiri fought and defeated a powerful enemy from the vast reaches of space, The Ageless. Now, it would seem, the Ageless are about to return, and the Asiri council must decide what to do about it. Unfortunately, there’s significant division among the council’s members, and, apparently, some dangerous secrets that threaten to tear the kingdom apart before the Ageless even arrive. Or are the Ageless already a step ahead of them?

There’s a lot going on in this comic, but the driving force isn’t so much the plot as the characters and the dynamics between them. Particularly between Kafan, the wise and much-beloved king of the Asiri, and Ankor, his brave second-in-command. The two are friends and confidantes, but also on opposite sides of the Ageless issue. And besides the two of them, there are also political rivalries, love triangles, and more. Plus, it seems like just about everybody has something to hide…

The world of The Asiri is incredible to dive into. It effortlessly combines science with magic, and advanced technology with ancient myth, to create a story that captures your attention from the beginning and takes you places you never imagined.

This comic comes to us via a partnership between Dark Horse and YouNeek Studios, a media company that produces stories based in African history, culture, and mythology. In fact, apparently YouNeek Studios has released a number of other comics through Dark Horse over the last two years, all of which managed to fly completely under my radar.

Learning that I somehow missed all of these awesome-sounding comics (listed, with plot synopses, at the end of this volume) was disappointing, to say the least. But I’m on board now with The Asiri, and it’s fantastic. If you’re into gripping sci-fi/action stories, space adventures, and political intrigue, with an African cultural perspective, then you’ll want to get on board with The Asiri, too.

Creative Team: Roye Okupe (creator, writer), Samuel Iwunze (art), Toyin Ajetunmobi (colors), Spoof Animation (letters)
Publisher: Dark Horse and YouNeek Studios
Click here to purchase.

Steven W. Alloway, Fanbase Press Contributor



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