This is an anthology title that I recently heard of and I decided to check it out. This is the 4th issue for this title, which stands for Faster Than Light, and s published by Oran Utan Comics.
SALVUS “IMITATES LIFE”
Written by Josh Wagner and Steve Sanders/Drawn by Josh Mathus/Colored by Ian Sharman
This 8-page story takes place in Italy, in the year 1377. A couple of men are in the home of an artist, watching him try to paint a picture. But the artist is having trouble concentrating with their presence, and asks for some time alone to finish the painting. The two men comply, and go down to a local tavern to have some drinks while they wait. And then they have seemingly spontaneous conversation about the concept of death, and why humans fear even talking about it. There is a twist ending here, that I don’t quite get. It feels like missing some greater context. And the artwork is not very good.
BOADICCA: QUEEN OF THE ICENI
Written and drawn by M. Hudson
This 7-page story is summery of the infamous tale of Boudicca, the Celtic Queen who was tortured and had her Kingdom ransacked by the ancient Roman Empire. She bravely lead revolt against the Romans but, after several battlefield victories her army was ultimately defeated. I’ve long been fascinated by this woman and her story, as tragic as it ultimately was. M. Hudson does a good job of re-cappng it her, especially in such short space. Hopefully, this will inspire those unfamiliar with this tale to research more of this part of history themselves.
Written by Peter Rogers/Drawn by J.C. Grande/Colored by Megan E. Cittadino/Lettered by Ian Sharman
This 8-page story involves Nathan Campbell, an FBI Agent being given orders to be go down to Mexican where is is going to meet with the notorious leader of some kind of criminal gang called The Outlaws. Where’ given the history of the gang, and are told that this leader, Jesus San Vitores, who was thought to have been executed, is actually alive, in jail, and Nathan Campbell is being taken to meet him. A decent enough story, but it’s mostly just set-up.
WITCHFINDER: CURSE OF THE POPPET
Written by Michael Sacal and Greg Novak/Drawn by Leeahnd Goldberg and Chris Morril, Colored by Vanessa Beckman/Letters by Ian Sharman
This 6-page story takes place in Salem Massachusetts, in the present. The Mayor, a man who’s been seeking to remove all traces of Salem’s witch-hunting past, against the wishes of the modern Wiccan population, has disappeared. During a press-conference discussing the Mayors disappearance, a young woman enters a local Wiccan store, and discovers a pretty deadly secret involving the mayor. I can’t say much without giving away most of the story, but I admit that is compelling one. There’s a lot more to this place than meets the eye, and it feels like the beginning of a much larger story which is waiting to be told. So I have no complaints about the writing, but the artwork is rather weak, and it undercuts the “horror” that this story is meant to invoke. Hopefully, for future installments, they can get better artists.
Overall, this issue is average. I’d grade it a “C“. There as some greater hints of potential with some of these creators, but no one here seems quite ready for the “big leagues” yet. But, hey, we all gotta start somewhere, right?