Boone Dias is a sophisticate, a scholar, a scientist. Therefore, he is popular in the realm of Ether—namely Agartha. The Mayor of Agartha wants to meet with Boone to discuss a recent event that has taken place in the town. Agartha’s protector, Blaze, has been murdered! Boone does some research with a friend of sorts, Glum (gatekeeper of the Crossroads—the path between Earth and Ether). When he gets too tired to continue solving the mystery, though, he asks Glum to send him home to Italy, where he goes from being a revered intellectual to a hated homeless thief.
There are a lot of things I like about this issue, but my favorite has to be the binary of Boon Dias himself. In the magical realm of the Ether, he is a completely different person than he is on Earth. Something about leaving the dimension of Earth actually makes him appear different in terms of his body, face, hair, and clothes. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say it was because of the magic in that realm. But, according to Boone, magic doesn’t exist. Magical things happen, but they are all explainable by science—facts, data, statistics, etc.
At this point, I am most concerned with two things: who killed Blaze and how did Boone end up in the situation he’s in on Earth? The creepy librarian might be to blame for Blaze’s murder (at least that’s what Glum thinks—and the librarian doesn’t make it any better; he really is one eerie piece of work), but it can’t be that simple, can it? At the end of the issue, we see a flashback of when he was teaching. He looked healthy, strong, clean, and spoke with a lot of conviction. I can’t imagine what could have happened, but I can’t wait to find out.
The dialogue in this issue is really smooth. Characters talk like old friends—the kind of conversation you miss when you grow up. They respect each other, but joke enough to keep the conversation light. Most of the language is pretty formal, though, which tells us that Boone clearly focuses on the facts and barely anything but such. So, it shouldn’t be too hard for him to solve this murder mystery. But if his weakness (which showed a lot towards the end of the issue) gets in the way, he might not be able to at all.
David Rubin’s artwork is gorgeous. He pencils new technology, creatures, emotive characters, small details like fur and hair, and so much more. These illustrations are some of the most gripping I’ve seen in a while. The art style is a bit cartoonish, though, which takes away from any realism that was present. However, when Rubin illustrates Earth, everything looks real enough for me to think something like, “I’ve seen that before” in Baltimore or Towson or somewhere that I have actually stepped foot on. Rubin clearly knows what he’s doing and has a clear vision as to how he wants to illustrate this series. With such a wide variety of eclectic colors, this issue jumps straight at the readers.
Anyone who likes fantasy should enjoy this series. Honestly, I’m more of a science than magic person myself, so I find Boone’s views on life really interesting. I must say, my favorite part of this issue was the flashback when Boone was explaining about explanation. This is a really interesting character that I am already rooting for. I don’t know what he’s doing with his life after this murder case, but I want him to succeed. In any case, I have no doubt that he will. For a thoughtful read with themes bigger than just what is on the page, this book is definitely for you.
Written by: Matt Kindt
Illustrated by: David Rubin