Hot on the heels of their Kickstarter success, we check out Daughters of Albion #1, the first comic release from new London based comic book studio, Wild River Comics. Created by Trevor Jayakody and Denis Phan, Daughters of Albion tells the story of two different people investigating mysterious, supernatural-related goings-on in near-future London.
Publisher: Wild River Comics
Writer: Denis Phan (Writer), Beanie White (Additional Writing)
Artist: Matt Timson (Art/Colours), Marco Lesko (Colours), Jim Campbell (Letterer)
Price: TBC from Wild River Comics
Set in a near-future London, Daughters of Albion tells the story of two very different people, senior cop Shaw and street wise techie Hashani, who find themselves separately drawn into unusual events when a pair of bodies is found on Rotherhithe Beach. While Shaw takes charge of the investigation of this seemingly double murder, he begins to discover his efforts impeded when the evidence is either deleted or stolen from his team. Meanwhile, after having dreamed of a mysterious couple, Hashani continues her life as normal, until a chance encounter with a pair of security bots results in a mysterious resolution and Hashani discovering an amulet that had been lost by those in her dream. What is going on? How are these two very different people connected? And, most curious, what were the mysterious pair of victims up to before their deaths?
Creators Denis Phan, Trevor Jayakody and Beanie White, have produced a deeply intriguing story in Daughters of Albion. While its beginnings feel a little slow, as very little exposition is offered in regards to the state of the wide world, the plot begins to feel richer at about the midway point when Hashani and Shaw’s respective investigations begin to take off. This is especially the case on Shaw’s side, with hints that what he is investigating is not wanted to be made public by the higher-ups of London’s political system. Like the story itself, both lead characters feel very blank slate, but they are slates which slowly fill in as the page count increases, making protagonists who are just as compelling as the story by the end.
The art, however, is where this issue truly shines. Matt Timson’s art style is absolutely gorgeous in this issue, with his style looking like an amalgamation of the styles of Micheal Lark (Lazarus), Dan Butcher (Vanguard) and Alitha Martinez (Omni). That said, this comparison is maybe not fair to make as, despite these three being great looks, comparing Timson’s style doesn’t really do it justice. The truth is that the artwork is very different and the comic works because of it. On top of the pencils, Timson and Lesko’s colours are deep and rich and really help enhance this comic’s look, especially during Hashani’s scenes. Unfortunately, Shaw’s seem a lot more muted, which seems less impressive. That said, it certainly does imply a difference between the two characters; whereas Hashani is very chaotic and street level, Shaw’s world is sterile and ordered and almost Ivory tower-esque. Indeed, much of the imagery from Timson certainly supports this contrast, with the police officers looking contemporary but with hints of futurism, but this futurism being in the high tech specs begin worn. As a result, the police have this rather eerie ‘1984’ vibe to them, especially when coupled with the signs dotted through the story that the Police are watching.
Despite, a slow start when the issue is first open, Daughters of Albion #1 turns out to be a compelling thriller which is filled from cover to cover with beautiful visuals. The team at Wild River Comics have certainly created a very interesting first issue reach leaves plenty of questions by the end, questions which will have you return for issue 2 for their answers.