21 Mar 2012

The Indie Club: BROKEN ANGEL #1

The Indie Club is an irregular feature where we take a closer look at any small press or self-published books that have crossed our path.

Writer: David Morphy
Art: Leandro Oliveira & Bramasta Aji
Daydreamer Comics £2.90

Matt C: My first response upon picking up the debut issue of this self-published miniseries was to marvel at just how impressive it looked. Generally you kind of expect something a little rough around the edges with an indie comic, but this handsomely produced issue is initially so striking because it looks like it's been put out by an established publisher with an eye to making something spring out of an overcrowded shelf in your local comic store. But of course, looks can be deceiving, so while the art (of which more later) suggests something compelling, if the story doesn’t cut the mustard no amount of pretty pictures can save it.

Fortunately Morphy introduces his narrative with a hefty punch and a rapid pace; while it appears to be more of a prologue than an opening chapter, there’s plenty going on to keep the curiosity piqued and the pages turning. Essentially it opens up with a crime thriller plotline before revealing the fantasy elements as it goes, and even though it won’t win any prizes for originality (a lot of the tropes employed will feel very familiar) it handles itself well, generating the requisite amount of excitement with a level of badass action that should guarantee a broad appeal for genre fans.

And of course, you can’t go too far wrong having an angel as a central character in your story. Even if your religious background is staunchly atheist, the potency inherent in an image of a winged man can’t be denied; it’s something deeply ingrained in the shared consciousness of Western civilization, and Morphy uses such a character to great effect, also giving Oliveira the chance to really shine with strong, kinetic visuals that are brilliantly coloured in a neo-noir style by Aji.

As I said, this is an undoubtedly impressive opener and altough the narrative may grind on occasion when the exposition takes centre stage, it definitely makes an impact, littering enough intrigue throughout its 22 pages to guarantee you’ll want to return to this world and find out what happens next. A supremely confident debut. 7/10

For further info and to download a PDF of Broken Angel #1, click here.

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