Brent Newhall’s Red Ax Issue 1
A while back I mentioned my friend Brent Newhall had published the first issue of a comic series he wrote. Finally I’ve read the first issue and can give some feedback although this certainly won’t be review. First and foremost Brent is a friend and I received a digital copy for free so if you’re as jumpy as the gaming community to point out commercial nepotism then please stop reading here. Red Ax tells the story of a mute bodyguard named Ax and issue one beelines to introduce the protagonist, the world, and the plot Ax finds himself in. The attention to varying degrees of gray in the shading caught my eye especially in the screen shot above. This might hint at the difficult morality in Ax’s world and how little difference lies between all those shades of gray. In the above image Ax’s face breaking through the central panel might suggest an inner struggle with the different shades of sky on each panel and Ax looking down on himself with a look that I might call pity or disgust. I like the relative silence of the issue’s first 12 pages. The reader doesn’t need to hear Ax in order to know what’s going on and because comics are a visual medium I think the visuals should dominate rather than dialogue. Back to the inner struggle, Ax doesn’t entirely have strong feelings about the injustice of something like slavery in his world but that seems to stem more from his inability to change it rather than apathy. I assume the story will push this idea forward in the future and I’m interested in where Brent will push Ax. Some of the writing struck me as too dramatic and a few scenes remind me immediately of half a dozen different action and/or Shounen anime series I’ve seen. But I think some of the thematic promises could easily work beyond my minor annoyances.