Updated: Jan 24
Writer: David Hine & Brian Haberlin
Artist: Brian Haberlin
Colorist: Geirrod Van Dyke
Publisher: Image Comics
Image has been on a roll lately, they have been releasing some of the most amazing new series, especially in the fantasy genre. Well I got news for you, they've done it again. SONATA captivates you from it's opening pages. Writer David Hine, along with his co-writer and series artist Brian Haberlin drop us into a world familiar yet mysterious at the same time. We can't forget the atmospheric colors of Geirrod Van Dyke, he truly made this a stand out book. With one hell of a debut issue, this book definitely intrigued me enough to want more. Plus what can I say, I'm a sucker for fantasy comics.
The story follow a young adventurous girl, Sonata, from the planet Ran. She's living on the planet of Perdita due to the dwindling resources on Ran. The planet reminds me of an "Avatar" type world. The people of Ran have been colonizing on Perdita for years, the only setback is that they can only come once every 5 cycles, when Ran is in close enough proximity. This world is beautiful and dangerous, which Haberlin exquisitely encapsulates.
Sonata helps colonizers on the back of her thermosaur, which is a giant bird like creature. The main conflict in this story for our heroine, is a group of industrial colonizers that have tried to hoard the depleting water supply. Not to mention the "sleeping giants she faces off against early in the book. While you could say that some of these tropes, of the "good" colonists fighting against the "evil" water stealing colonists, feel predictable, it doesn't do it in a way that makes this story any less amazing.
When Sonata goes to help the natives of Perdita reclaim their water, she shows what a selfless and brave character she really is. Her adventurousness is one of the great appeals for the series, not to mention her steampunk with a touch of fantasy design. While helping to destroy a dam to "steal" back the water, she discoveres a hidden temple beneath the ground. Having explored that world for years, she was shocked that her people had never found it before. It showed evidence of a more advanced people then they had though had ever lived there. Cue the hook, line, and sinker. That last page completely had me yearning for more.
SONATA, was such a perfect amalgamation of fantasy, pulp, and a hint of sci-fi. The script while at times could be a little predictable, was still highly entertaining and completely drew me in to this amazing new world. I can't forget the insanely breathtaking art. Holy crap!! It's so good. Haberlin and Van Dyke are on a whole different level, I found myself pouring over ever page taking in every little aspect of this captivating new series. The credits page mentions a behind-the-scenes companion app to the series which as I'm writing this review isn’t available yet, but you can bet I'm definitely checking that out when it becomes available. Once again, Image doing big things.
I seriously can't recommend this book enough, I can already think of 2 people that will absolutely adore this book. As always, Image proves why they are one of the most innovative and powerhouse publishers in comics. DC and Marvel need to watch out, cuz Image is coming for the top spot. You don't believe me? Go check out the Eisner noms.