Review written by Eamonn Clarke
To read more of Eamonn’s reviews go check out his Thank you for your Attention blog
I’m mostly going digital for new comics these days but whenever I pop into the Forbidden Planet which passes for my local comic store I usually pick up something 2000AD related and yesterday’s purchase was the first issue of the American format Brass Sun by Ian Edginton and I.N.J.Culbard. I’ve read all of this in the Prog but it always seemed like it might work better in a collected format.
First impressions are very good, a lovely glossy cover and I think the image chosen is smart and appealing, and the 2000AD logo looks great up there on the top left corner. Inside the high quality continues with good paper stock and the same nice design work on the inside cover. There are just two advertising pages for 2000AD and the Case Files (and more about them later), the rest is all story.
And the story reads much better in this collected fashion than it did in five page chunks in the prog. The unwinding adventure of Wren makes more sense as does the back story about their clockwork universe slowly winding down. There is still a fair bit of dialogue as exposition to get through but that is only to be expected when you have this much world building to do.
Culbard’s art looks fantastic on the glossy paper. I always thought his Lovecraft and Sherlock Holmes adaptations had a very other worldly look to them so he is perfectly suited to this alien adventure. It has a very high class polished look to it which should hopefully help this comic appeal to American readers.
That target audience is a tricky one to break into but they do like off beat independent titles and it’s no secret that 2000AD are hoping to pick up some of the readers who have made Saga such a runaway hit. Brass Sun is a good fit both in terms of the refined artwork and the weird space opera story. Both Saga and another successful Image comic The Walking Dead have letters pages that act as a dialogue between the creators and their readers, and that brings me to the two 2000AD advertising pages. I don’t think this comic will be a success if it drives readers to buy the prog, it’s not a typical 2000AD story by any means and they may be disappointed. It will be a success if it sells enough copies to continue beyond the first four issues. If I was editing this reprint series I would turn those two spare pages over to Messrs Edginton and Culbard and call for reader letters and emails to get the dialogue started and build that following.
Of course there is an existing audience of 2000AD fans who will buy this anyway, and I confess that I’m so impressed with this first issue that I will be picking up the next three. It’s not to everybody’s taste but I enjoyed it in the prog and it’s even better in this glossy floppy.