Compass n ° 1 is published by Picture comics. He comes from the creative team of writers Dave Walker and Robert Mackenzie, artist Justin Greenwood, colorist Daniela Miwa, and letterer Simon Bowland. On a calm moonlit night, a castle stands in front of the starry sky. Only one light can be seen coming from the castle windows – the room where Shahidah El-Amin works to open a door. Soon the door gives way and she enters a dark room.
Inside, she opens a secret passage to trigger a trapped ceiling. She runs away and escapes at the last moment, only to find herself surrounded by skeletons. She pronounces a brief prayer and sinks deeper into the castle, where her career awaits her. A lonely chest sits, waiting for her to open it and pick up the treasures inside. But, as with any good adventure story, there are more surprises in store for our hero.
Compass n ° 1 looks as much like a new Indiana Jones canon entry as it does anything I’ve read or seen. Shahidah is smart, driven, and a badass who can defend herself in a fight. But the comparisons don’t end there. So many of the characteristics of a good adventure film, the Indiana Jones films in particular, are fully on display. The friend has become a traitor, the treasure hunt like an open cold and the trapped corridor are just a few of the many excellent tropes present.
But beneath it all, there is an interesting look at the medieval world. Shahidah is a fish out of water in this story, but it serves the plot well. What she observes and learns about the people of 13th-century Britain helps keep history fresh despite her clear inspirations. It also contains one of my favorite world building pieces; notoriety. Nothing helps make a world more rushed than people who have heard of each other. Shahidah’s worldliness allows him to capitalize on this to give the characters more story while keeping the plot moving.
Greenwood’s art is solid, with good character designs and strong expressions of the different people in the story. There are some hiccups though, especially with the action scenes. When the most intense action unfolds, the clear flow from panel to panel begins to deteriorate. Sometimes it is legitimately difficult to tell what is going on and how Shahidah escapes the deadly situations she finds herself in. This is not a deciding factor, but it spoils an otherwise important first problem.
Miwa’s colors are excellent and varied. My favorite coloring is using the color red for Shahidah’s hijab. It seems like a pretty harmless color choice at first. However, the red contrasts with the rest of the palette on display, which makes Shahidah stand out. This little bit of coloring helps reinforce the idea that she doesn’t belong in a foreign country and is a sign of a good colourist. Bowland’s letters are also strong. They are easy to read and the bubbles are a good size. Additionally, using different fonts when people speak other languages helps prevent these sections from becoming confusing.
Overall, Compass n ° 1 is a great first issue in a series that I now look forward to seeing more of. Shahidah is a compelling hero, and her adventures strike the same chords as others before her, but everything still looks very fresh. The plot is engaging from Walker and Mackenzie; the art is solid even if it is a little imperfect, and the colors and the letters bring it all together. If you like medieval stories and adventure then this is a great title to watch.
Compass n ° 1 is available now wherever comics are sold.
Compass n ° 1
Overall, Compass # 1 is a great first issue in a series that I now look forward to seeing more of. Shahidah is a compelling hero, and her adventures strike the same chords as others before her, but everything still looks very fresh.
Max is a Librarian, Dungeon Master and Video Gamer. He likes to read, learn, teach.