Elsewhere #1 Review

Written By: Jay Faerber

Art By: Sumeyye Kesgin

Published By: Image

The fun thing about review copies is that there’s no back matter to read. I tend to not know what I’m getting into when I open a review .pdf. With Elsewhere #1, I thought the cover looked a little generic, but I’m a sucker for monsters. Also, there’s a pilot that looks vaguely familiar. Cool. Color me curious.

That pilot is Amelia Earhart, by the way, and it was with that reveal that my curiosity died. I didn’t know I was getting into revisionist fantasy history here. Shame on me.

However, the problem isn’t with the genre but with the writing itself. Everything is just so bland, and that’s shame on Elsewhere. The two main characters—Cort and Tavel—try for witty banter, but everything out of their mouths feels either obligatory or tropey.

Given that they start the comic breaking out of prison, that’s a real big shame on Elsewhere.

Amelia Earhart isn’t any better. She’s spunky which is cool, but she takes to everything going on too seamlessly, and she takes to riding dragons so well that she comes off as a Mary Sue. Maybe if she weren’t spunky, brave, and willing to face the big bad right away to save her copilot, but for all I know those are real things about her.

That’s the problem with revisionist history. I don’t know what’s real and what’s fanfiction.

The big bad, by the way, is wearing a skull helmet, so you know this is black-and-white fantasy on top of all its other problems.

I wish the artwork saved the package, because it’s not bad by any means and isn’t drowned in text. Elsewhere at least knows it’s a comic. The artwork shines; the problem is, it isn’t very shiny. It’s competent sure, but there’s also nothing interesting about it. I mean hell, our big bad is a guy with a skull helmet.

I guess the dragons look kind of cool. I’ll give it that.

Going in, Elsewhere #1 has all the makings of a good comic. It starts off with a prison break, no one is vomiting text, and the artwork takes center stage. However, it doesn’t take long for a lethargic flatness to settle in, with dialogue that doesn’t feel real, boring characters, and artwork that’s wholly serviceable. It’s uninteresting to the point where I’ll forget I read it by the time issue #2 comes out.