Sonata, Issue One

Story Davide Hine and Brian Haberlin

Art Brian Haberlin

Colors Geirrod Van Dyke

Letters Francis Takenaga

Lead Developer David Pentz

Production Diana Sanson and Hannah Wall

Publisher Image Comics

This book was a fun read with a lot to like about it and a few factors that tended to pull me out of the story at times. It’s a cool blend of sci-fi and a bit of steam-punk with some really great creatures, some of which are great flying Dino-birds, I loved those.

It takes place in a solar system of several planets or small moons orbiting a giant planet named Perdita. The first page has a panel illustrating the worlds in proximity to each other and a panel showing a ship landing on Perdita. This first page was  also a great example of my likes and dislikes of the book so far.  

I really enjoy the sci-fi setting. The art is nice to look at, and at the same time kind of distracting. It’s beautifully crafted but in spots looks very much like a CGI movie, it’s really hard to describe.  I’d be gazing at the art in wonder and excitement for this new world and story, then I’d notice computer rendering and spots where you can see a pattern placed on top of the art. I know nothing of graphic design or illustration so I don’t have the proper vocabulary to describe it, but I’m sure others would notice what I did upon reading the book.

This isn’t a deal-breaker by any means, just something that did distract at times. 

The story itself is fun and I’m looking forward to reading the second issue. Another small gripe, however, is that at times there tended to be a little too much exposition.  This is, I assume, a book with quite a few issues to come, why not take its time with explaining things or let the story reveal the important details in the course of its telling?

The heroine of the book is a teenager by the name of Sonata, who is a member of a people called the Ran.  They immigrated from one of the other planets in the solar system, which can only happen once every 5 “cycles” because of orbital mechanics, due to dwindling food and resources. 

Right off we get introduced to one of my favorite creatures in the book, Kee, a Thermasaur, who is Sonatas flying Dino-bird. Sonata, after mounting Kee, takes to the skies in a storm against her fathers orders to help a group of settlers making planet-fall.  When she gets to the groups location my favorite part of this issue is presented in a full page panel of a “Sleeping Giant,” a truly giant, cyclopic, skyscraper sized, bipedal beast. This was an example of the kind of art that this book is capable of at its best. I think I looked at this page and the following for at least a few minutes, it was excellent work.

Upon the return journey to her settlement, one of the new arrivals remarks on how dry and parched the land looks and how it didn’t match his expectations. Foreshadowing!  

A short time later her father leaves with a delegation, on orders from her settlements leader, the Matriarch, to a community of a different race, who still look human, from yet another world in the system, to discuss their damming of the river that supplies all people in the area with water, which they’ve only recently discovered. 

When Sonatas father reaches this other races community, the Tayans, he’s informed brusquely and without equivocation that the dam will remain and that his community, and an allied race of aliens called the Lumani, who look like great toad/gorillas, must leave for the lands to the south.

Sonatas father and the Matriarch decide soon after to put a hole in the dam that will let enough water through to supply the Ran and Lumani enough water for their needs.  Suffice to say this plan goes horribly wrong and puts Sonata in very direct danger. On her escape from the rushing waters there’s a big mystery revealed in the ending that left me wanting to know more, and feeling satisfied with this issue.

Read it!

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