Thursday, April 17, 2014

Archeologists of Shadows, Volume 1: The Resistance by Lara Fuentes and Patricio Clarey

The sheer variety of comics available today, especially given digital distribution methods such as comics for the Kindle through Amazon and ComiXology, is staggering.  One graphic novel that takes its art in a non-traditional direction is Archeologists of Shadows, written by Lara Fuentes with art from Patricio Clarey.  The first volume, The Resistance, contains the first four chapters of what is clearly a much larger story.

Archeologists of Shadows follows two characters who could be the reincarnation of the two deities of the world, or two pawns in a large-scale revolutionary movement.  The government is forcing everyone to let their bodies be consumed by technology and industrialization, and while most people are following along, there is a resistance group looking to bring back the gods of the world to fight against the government-sponsored dehumanization of humanity.  This first volume establishes a steampunk, techno-nature world where the world hangs in the balance.  The art very much distinguishes itself from the field, uses a host of techniques to create an almost abstract, surreal 3D world.

Full of big concepts, it is unfortunate that Archeologists of Shadows does not live up to its potential.  The story isn’t nearly as engaging as it could be, with the adventure and journey seeming to lose its appeal quickly.  And while the art is certainly different, it isn’t an art style that will appeal to everyone, and can lack clarity at critical moments.  The setting is very interesting, and I would have liked to have seen a better story taking place there.

Archeologists of Shadows, Vol. 1: The Resistance isn’t a bad book, it just isn’t a great one.  However, for a very low entry price, curious readers can discover for themselves if this book might be their cup of tea.  For this reviewer, it wasn’t.

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