Huw Williams’s and Hannah Collins’s Age of Revolution has got to be one of the most original and unique titles on the market today. Strongly influenced by Japanese manga, with touches of western comic influence thrown in for good measure.
The world of Age of Revolution is not unlike our own, except that the “forces of magic and science are waging war”.
#1 begins with a whale floating though space carrying a huge structure of it’s back, reminiscent of Terry Pratchett’s Great A’Tuin. We then cut to our protagonist, Takeo Cooper, a wannabe hero who is too concerned with making people believe that he’s a fearless warrior that he is often too naive to realise what truly makes someone a hero. After meeting a strange old man who insists that Takeo will be interested in what he has to say, we cut to #2, where it turns out that the military want to hire Takeo so that he can rid the world of a new evil that has taken shape. Ever the one to wish to prove himself, Takeo agrees, with his dialogue “I’LL DO IT!” filling up most of the top part of the page.
#3 takes a completely different approach, being an introduction to Caesar Fletcher, the story’s villain, who like all villains has a troubled backstory. No doubt that the inevitable confrontation between him and Takeo will be a satisfying pay-off.
As with most manga or manga influenced work, it will take some time getting used to for people raised on American comics who may have difficulties adjusting to the black and white artwork and the way that it is sometimes unlearn to tell when one image ends and a new one begins, but overall it could serve as an introduction to people new to manga by giving them a taste of the conventions of the genre without going too far into unfamiliar territory (it reads front to back and not back to front).
Manga fans, on the other hand, will be in comfortably familiar territory, as the series contains everything that they know and love. Particularly with Takeo, who is clearly influenced by Naruto, in that he is a talented martial artist obsessed with gaining respect and admiration, giving him a tendency to act first and ask questions later.
Welsh publisher Cosmic Anvil is relatively new in the business, but Age of Revolution cold be the title that puts them on the map.
Have you read Age of Revolution? What did you think of it? Let us know in the comments section below, or send us a tweet!