Isola #2 Review

Posted May 9, 2018 by Chad Waller in Comic Books

Written By: Brenden Fletcher & Karl Kerschl

Art By: Karl Kerschl  & Msassyk

Published By: Image

I want to love Isola. I want to write a review with nothing but good things to say about this gorgeous fantasy world with its unique idea, rich lore, and suspense. I want to wonder what will happen next, and maybe–just maybe–start planning out my top 10 list already so I can find a spot for this comic.

I also want a million dollars and for my [redacted] to be [redacted] [redacted] [redacted ].

The problem with Isola is that I don’t care. I have no pathos for any of the characters, their situations, or the world they’re in. It’s all gorgeous to be sure, easily one of the prettiest comics out right now, but I just don’t care. Which sucks because I don’t even think the writing is bad by any means. Dialogue feels fine, the plot beats are hit with the gusto they deserve, and there’s so much magic hidden in every page that I feel like I’m reading something by Disney.

But Disney makes me care, and this does not.

The main character runs into an old friend and there’s some pretty standard plotting that goes the way you’d expect save a slight twist at the end. I like the twist. It’s so pretty to look at holy shit. But I also read the entire thing with a Shinedown song stuck in my head, and I was paying way more attention to that than the words on the page. That the lyrics are, “Who’s the asshole now?” seems fitting, because I feel like an asshole for not getting what’s going on here. Why don’t I love this book? It’s everything I want in a fantasy story save, you know, good characters I guess.

We don’t know any real motivation yet, apart from “Save the queen” of course. Now, I’m not asking for a big pile of exposition, but the only thing the main character has going for her is duty. That’s not much to latch onto. The best piece of characterization she gets is singing a song while she hikes and forgetting some words, and yeah that’s cute, but man, I need more than that. I should be upset when she’s in danger, and I should be upset when things don’t go her way. Instead, I feel like I’m going through the motions.

At least the motions are pretty.

I guess I’m not 100% sure what this comic is missing, because it has a lot going for it. Yet I’ll forget all of it two days from now. It’s gorgeous to look at, a Disney cartoon in comic form, but everything else is flat. I look at the world and the characters and go, “that’s sure interesting,” and then wonder what else is on.

About the Author

Chad Waller

Chad Waller is the cofounder of Dual Wield Software, a two-man video game company that just published The Land of Glass on Steam. You should check it out! You can follow him on Twitter @DualWieldSoft and find his company page on Facebook with a quick search.