I’m reviewing Esther by Mark McCann and Ryan Brown.
Mark McCann wrote for this website last month.
Now Mark along with artist Ryan Brown have come out with Esther, a comic book which you can read the first issue of here.
Just know that I am biased and will be giving this a positive review.
The World of Esther
The world of Esther is intriguing. Let’s see if I can give you an idea. It’s a post-human world where robots have taken over. The robots have become like medieval knights on a crusade. They may be robots, but they believe in gods and humans have become deified in their absence. The robots mention Christ and talk of him being the son. It’s an interesting idea, can a machine have faith?
The robot knights also have little helper robots who carry their equipment. These smaller robots help to mend them after the battle. There appears to be a societal hierarchy which I hope they explore further in subsequent issues.
The first issue is brief. The plot involves a battle between the robots and a rival faction known as chimaeras. The robots then discover an “organic”. An organic in this case is a human woman; she’s in a comatose state hooked up to a machine. The robots look to her as a divine being. I’m intrigued because what way will it go? Will she be a character in her own right, will she be a McGuffin that drives the plot or will she be both? I look forward to seeing where the creators take the idea.
Due to the briefness of the issue and the emphasis on action, there is no real character development yet. There is some talk between the robot knights. There is an inner monologue that considers faith, existence and death. I enjoyed how it appears to be establishing our lead robot will be dealing with their own beliefs. Mark and Ryan are laying the groundwork in issue 1 of Esther. I look forward to seeing what they build.
The artwork is beautiful. It’s dark yet distinct. The use of yellow in their visors is a smart choice. Yellow could mean optimism, faith, loyalty and truth. The yellow then switches to red when they are in a battle which is done subtly and without explanation.
The battle could have been confusing. It’s grey robots fighting grey robots, but Ryan Brown has made each distinct from one another. Good guys have horizontal visors that glow red; bad guys have vertical visors that glow white. Simple yet effective.
Ryan also brings out the texture of this world through contrast. You get the idea that this is a harsh world, metal, steel, rugged landscapes and terrible weather. This makes the soft fragility of the organic all the more apparent.
I love the look of this comic.
Well done to Mark and Ryan for creating something beautiful together. Wish them all the best for subsequent issues.
Can’t wait to see what direction the story takes.