This week, Heavy Metal Entertainment‘s new comic book line, Magma Comix, gets underway with the first issue Chasing the Dragon by the imprint’s head honcho, Denton J Tipton. But can this title fly under the weight of being the imprint’s first release?
Set in a world of dragons and the society which covers their blood, Chasing the Dragon tells the story of Andre, a man who was born a slave inside the foundries controlled by the ruling Duchess. While having no concept of freedom, Andre attempts to improve his knowledge and abilities as he apprentices for an apothecary in the almost mystical art of Alchemy. However, when he and his master are called before the Duchess, Andre’s finds his life is turned upside down.
Denton J Tipton has created both an intriguing world and, within it, an intriguing story inside the covers of Chasing the Dragon. Tipton appears to play his cards close to his chest within this first issue as the mystery surrounding Andre, in terms of both his past and his present, remain deeply shrouded. Unfortunately, this does present an problem as a lack of exposition about any aspect of this world makes it difficult to become captivated. That said, the questions which arise certainly do stay with you, which (hopefully) are answered as things progress.
With the art, the enigmatic menton3 has created some fantastically gorgeous images for this comic. It’s haunting and really gives off this hellish vibe of Andre’s enslaved life with a style reminiscent of that from Shaun Gardiner’s The Boy With Nails For Eyes. However, unlike that series, Chasing the Dragon utilises a lot more colour, although the beginning sticks to a monochrome look but imbues Black Magick’s look as with has small bits of colour to really make important plot points jump out. Beyond that entry though, the colour palette really expands going to full colour but with a garish vibe which really helps sell the pencil’s dystopian hellscape.
Chasing the Dragon’s first issue is a mixed bag; while is art is eerie and atmospheric, giving the world inside life, this world and the story woven inside feels a little bare bones. However, the title has potential as there are enough questions to convince readers to chance a return for a follow up. That said, answers and direction will need to be ready if this series wants to continue chasing that dragon.