Band of Warriors #1 Review
Band of Warriors #1 merges history and myth into a story of revenge. The story is written by Samuel George London, and illustrated by Frederico Avila Corsini.
Merging actual historical events with Celtic and Greek mythology, Band of Warriors is an epic tale of adventure, betrayal and vengeance that begins by following King Minos at the height of his reign, in the palace of Knossos, on the island of Crete. Where it will lead, only the Gods know…
Band of Warriors #1 was funded through Kickstarter with a second issue planned for Kickstarter in September.
Band of Warriors #1 Story
This first issue can really be summed up by two words; exposition and violence. The first few pages are almost exclusively dedicated to easing the reader into this land of history and myth. Major characters are given to us so there is no confusion as to their place in the world, while also spending time to establish the world itself to some degree as well as the culture of the people. You don’t need a passing knowledge of Greek history to get a sense of who these people are, which is great for helping the reader get into the flow of the story.
The rest of the book is largely tragedy and violence, both of which are certainly staples of stories dealing in the time period. The time period, and the stories of that time that have inspired this comic, are often brutal and Band of Warriors #1 doesn’t shy away from that. In fact, I was quite impressed with how it portrayed the violence without reveling in it.
It would be very easy for it to glorify the violence, particularly as the story starts with violent rituals, yet it positions the later violence as brutal and uncomfortable as it would be. This not only prevents the story from becoming uncomfortable to read but also helps to establish the stakes and emotional weight moving forward. It would have been difficult to want to see violence avenged when that violence is portrayed in a glorified manner, and so it is pleasing to see that wasn’t the route chosen here.
The other interesting thing to note about this story is the way it takes mythological, or at the least legendary, figures and places them in a more historical context. It remains to be seen how far this intertwining of history and myth shall go, but with the way it was established in this first issue it seems like it will be fascinating to watch unfold.
Band of Warriors #1 Art
Leaning back into my comments about how the story deals with violence, Corsini’s art reflects this style of being brutal without glorifying it. The art leans more towards stylized rather than realistic, which could possibly undercut the brutality of the violence except for the power that violence hits with. It is grimy and unpleasant, it is real.
Corsini is also really good at knowing when the art needs detail or simplicity. The pages never feel over-crowded, and also avoid feeling empty. It very nicely treads that line between that creates a smooth and consistent look that helps carry the weight of the story.
Band of Warriors #1 Conclusion
Band of Warriors seems to be one of those stories where it is difficult to predict an exact course, at least from the first issue. All that is clear is that if you give it a try and stick with it you will be in for a thrilling and brutal tale of revenge across the ancient Greek world.
If any of what was mentioned here strikes your fancy, or you simply like the look of the art, make sure to keep an eye out for when the second issue hits Kickstarter in September.
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