REVIEW: The Eighth Immortal #1 Is Exactly How An Indie Comic Should Look and Feel

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Manga + American Comics + Mythology

The Eighth Immortal is the first issue of the ongoing journey of Curipan, an immortal being that is trying to save humanity from an old prophecy involving her kind and the number of immortals allowed to exist at a time. It is written by Jacob Murray, art by Alice Li Barnes.

Synopsis:

Curipan has spent her immortality protecting humanity from the threat of an ancient prophecy. But time and a secret trauma have worn her down, forcing her to choose between her duty and her sanity. The Eighth Immortal is a scandalous fantasy that asks the question, should anything last forever?

The Eighth Immortal is published by Source Point Press and will be available from your local comic book store from 27 Jan 2021.

This is The Eighth Immortal – First Comics News
The Eighth Immortal – Front Cover, courtesy of Source Point Press

The Eight Immortal #1 Story

Imagine, for a second, that you have suddenly gained a superpower. Yesterday, you were the normal version of you living your life as normally as possible. Cut to today and, it’s still the same you, no tragedy or gamma radiation, but now you have been imbued with one of the greatest human abilities ever conceived by a creative mind right into your DNA. The catch is you have no clue.

It could be anything: the power of flight, telekinesis, being able to open every book on the very page you were looking for every single time, immortality; you name it. And then, just as you start feeling like something has changed – but right before you even realize you’ve gained a superpower – a half-naked lady with power beams coming out of her arms steals it from you while you’re sitting in a public restroom.

Happens to everyone at one point or another, I guess.

But this is how The Eighth Immortal begins, with a plot cue right out of any given shounen manga being published at the moment. After this, Murray takes the chance to hone in on what Curipan, the half-naked lady mentioned above, thinks about what she has devoted her life to. This is the moment where the story stops being a flashy action sequence in order to delve deep into both her feelings and the mythology surrounding her. We are talking immortal beings, prophecies, missing children; the whole she-bang.

Storywise, The Eighth Immortal starts already going fast into action territory, full-throttle into show not tell, and never lets go of the speed, while making sure to take the reader with it no matter the pace.

The Eighth Immortal #1 Art

The Eighth Immortal doesn’t only take its dramatic cues from manga, it visually mirrors its aesthetic as well. No wonder seeing as the one making the words become pictures is renowned manga artist Alice Li Barnes.

Your visual journey starts with a foreboding cover that tells you absolutely nothing of the story from the get-go, but speaks volumes about its inherent mood and vibes. The art style matches none of the images contained within, but somehow serves as a sign that good things will come your way if you dare open the issue. Then, following the tradition set up by awesome premiere issues of decades past, we start with a prologue. A sort of ethereal couple of pages where we are introduced to the rules of this universe via metaphorical images and almost live journal-like written passages that explain so much – and yet so little – of what we’re about to see.

Cut to a modern-day mall scene that looks sprawling with life with so little brush strokes. Li Barnes knows how to make the most out of the limited space allowed to her – and all with a limited palette that veers off into “black and white ” territory that never feels empty.

The Eighth Immortal art takes some risks in the way it is presented, but it’s never to the detriment of the plot. As inventive as some camera angles are, they are always easy to follow. You can just feel the people behind this comic imprinting all of their passion onto this project. But passion alone does not a good outcome mean. These folks know their craft. Whether they’ve been publishing for decades or this is their first effort in the land of “I want to make comic books for a living!” doesn’t matter. They want to tell this story and they want to tell it as professionally as possible.

This is the type of comic that reminds us why telling stories via still drawn images is such a magical thing, why comics need to keep on existing.

The Eight Immortal #1 Conclusion

Is The Eighth Immortal a flawless piece of art? Is this the fabled ten out of ten comic book that so many people have fantasized about? Hell no! You’ll find your fair share of stilted lines, forced backstory details, crooked art here and there, and more gratuitous nudity than is necessary for a modern fantasy. This is far from perfect; but that’s precisely why it is so charming.

What it does have is everything you need in an indie comic book. So much so that there’s nothing in particular I can rant about it; there’s not a negative thought about this comic book that I’d like to throw into the world. I simply want to endorse it. This is the sort of product comic books were created for. And you’d be remiss to not follow the story.

Pick up The Eighth Immortal.


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