André Sirangelo and Gabriel Iumazark's "The Last Broadcast" #1 is a mysterious and intriguing opening to a promising new mini-series with moody and haunting visuals.
Sirangelo's story is deliberately confusing, as it jumps around in time and with a few different characters, but there's enough here to leave a reader intrigued more than frustrated. The story centers on a magician before and after an accident, as well as explorers of some kind searching out an underground. Already, both the magician's and the explorers' stories are tying together in smart ways, but it's too early to know where the story is headed. Still, Sirangelo is clever about the way he's layered it together, making it feel like it has a definitively direction, which will eventually reward those who continue reading.
Iumazark's art is a moody and evocative tapestry well fitting for the tone. There's a wonderful contrast between intensely layered panels full of hatching and dark colors and flat white thin-lined work. The dense work has a wonderful texture to it and is generally more interesting than the flat artwork, but the contrast between the two is what really makes the book so visually compelling. Storytelling is strong throughout, but the character acting, especially in facial expressions, is a bit uneven, sometimes very powerful and other times coming off as passive.
It's always tough with a mini-series to gauge how well a first issue can set the stage pacing wise for a series -- giving enough to build reader confidence that the creative team can deliver a fully realized and rewarding story; but Sirangelo and Iumazark have struck that balance well in this first issue. They've set up mysteries and established a gorgeous visual landscape and strong world building without overwhelming readers. There are some small weaknesses in the visuals and the story is ultimately still a bit confusing, but there's certainly enough here to merit reading the second issue.