Writer: Wes Craig
Art: Wes Craig
Colors: Jason Wordie
Letters: Andworld Design
This week we got the continuation to the promising new Image’s ongoing title, Kaya (and The Lizard Riders, it’s on the cover but only there, for some reason). Wes Craig is brewing up a new and compelling story in a fresh setting and it’s a sight to see.
The story for this issue has a slower flow to it and focuses more on Kaya establishing confidence among the Lizard Riders. The chapter opens with the protagonist and Jin tagging along the Riders amidst a storm that’s starting to form a flood. She rescues the ride Zothan decided to abandon, already showing a grave difference in their values. Having lost all their food in the flood, Kaya, Seth and Zothan set out on a hunt. Eventually Jin shows up which obligates the party to separate: Zothan and Kaya stay on the hunt while the other two head back to camp.
For this chapter the writer decided to focus on Kaya’s place in this new tribe of hers. She and Zothan have a heart to heart while Seth and Jin discuss Seth’s feelings for Kaya. This feels like a set up for an eventual betrayal. It’d be quite monotonous had Craig not opted for a hunting framing device which really adds to the stakes when we’re discussing who’s trusting and helping who. The arrangement Kaya and Zothan reach shows a lot about each of the character’s nature, especially the latter, as we see the facade he showed Kaya may not be the truth.
Craig’s designs continue to amaze me. The ability of creating a whole gang of lizard people and giving them a wide range of convincing facial expressions and body language is super cool. Some interesting tidbits of art in this chapter are the ruins seen in the background. By placing them there and having the characters just not mention them at all, Craig keeps teasing the readers with the mysteries of his world.
What really widened my eyes, though, was the coloring work for this issue. Hot damn, Wordie’s done a tremendous job on this one. Looking back on it, every single page is just gorgeous but there is also a very good sense of time spent. At a slow and yet steady pace the environment gets warmer and warmer colors during the day of the hunt. And then we’re given the bonfire scene which was, again, just marvelous to look at. The harsh and dynamic lighting on the characters really conveys the fire’s life to the scene.
The lettering in this issue was as immersive as the first one. There are a few more sound effects and also more of the lettering overflowing out of the balloon aspect that conveys a really loud shout that just bursts into everyone’s ears. I did notice that the lizards’ speech balloon’s tails have a thinner tip as well as being more curvy. I feel like it should represent something similar to a hissing sound. Them being lizards and all. I don’t know. I thought it was cool.
This was a lighter issue that focused more on character building rather than story driven but it was a very comfortable read and I had good fun. Kaya grows more captivating and Zothan is just a dirtbag that I love to hate by this point. But who knows where the creators are going with this? It’s packed with storytelling potential and that is really engaging.
- The character designs are just sublime
- Lettering brings the comic up a notch
- Some readers may find this comic a bit inconsequential due to a very little progression of the main story.