“Carbon Grey” is going to prove an interesting comic on the stands. It is aggressively ambitious and explosively successful in many areas. This is a comic about violence and about intent and about action. The almost mystical backdrop is a canvas on which a brutal vista of death and deception is painted throughout generations.
The Sisters Grey have protected the Kaiser of Mitteleuropa, but one of the sisters now stands accused of his assassination. Thus kicks off a spectacle of bladed soldiers and airborne fights of frenzy and fanaticism. This is a comic that doesn’t just want to tell a story, it wants to become a myth. Everything is painted as being just that step more hyper-real than comics usually are. There is a manga quality to the tone and scope of this tale and yet it is presented in a very cinematic way.
The sisters all make interesting, and visually arresting, characters. With just one issue, it is a little difficult to get a complete picture of them all but they are well set up to be used in subsequent issues. The men that stand with or against them are also introduced, but due to the sheer amount of story and scene changes directed in the issue, no one has been developed completely just yet. What is given is interesting both in how characters look and then how they act.
The frenetic pace of this comic means you may get lost and require a reread to soak everything in, but it also means that no pages are wasted. Every scene serves a purpose and the world being built quickly has its tone and parameters set. There is a dazzling brilliance shown in moments of plot made more interesting through inclusion of a dynamic or intriguing concept.
The art is going to be a major sell for this title because it looks so expertly crafted and worked over. Nguyen, Evans, and Loh all strive to make each panel count and each moment have a depth of feeling on the page. Certain aspects might be played up -- this is a dark fairy tale with a cornucopia of delights and horrors -- but you can’t argue that it isn’t a spectacle of magnificent proportions. The brutality of battle and violence is displayed in such a way that it becomes art yet retains its meaning.
“Carbon Grey” is an epic comic, and it knows it. This story is relatively simple and yet all of the extras added to it and the beautiful delivery make it better than you might think. There is something interesting on every single page and if this is just the debut I can’t wait to see what else they have in store. This isn’t the usual Image comic, as you might think of them as a genre. This is a new beast and it will kill for pleasure.