The Fourth Sun, in addition to being the name of the series, also refers to Yava, the fourth sun, which will never rise after setting, which may or may not mean the apocalypse.
The story introduces us the our protagonist, but seems more concerned with exposition by going into details about her backstory and that of the world rather than telling its own story. What little story is on offer involves the imminent destruction of the world in addition to far more pressing matters like escaped goats.
The world appears to be based on South Asian mythology, and unfortunately the issue does little more than introduce us to it. Sure, we get a glimpse of the world and some of its features, but we don’t really feel it coming alive. We don’t get much of how it differs from our world, or of its bizarre and fantastical elements, or ultimately what makes it unique. We are given a taste but denied the main course, like how some restaurants let you help yourself to salad while your meal cooks.
Thankfully, while we don’t get to know the world particularly well, we do get to know the main character a bit better. Despite not actually having a name, she certainly has a personality. Her narration gives us an idea of the struggles that she faces, being a feisty young woman torn between her desire to bed her own and her mothers stick adhesion to old fashioned tradition. The inevitable journey that she will undertake is ultimately the thing that will likely spur readers’ interest and make them buy the next issue.
A shame then, that aside from her and a brief appearance from her mother, there isn’t really much that can be said about the other characters that we meet, as they mostly come and go without much in the way of development. Oh, and remember that the world’s supposed to be ending or something? Well apparently the characters don’t because everyone seems to be incredibly calm about the forthcoming apocalypse.
Regarding the artwork, one thing that must be said is that is that it immediately strikes you as being somewhat lacking both in colour and detail. Grey and brown are the order of the day, and the minimalistic approach does leave something to be desired. The strongest aspect of the issue visually is an extract of a history book describing how the world came to be as it is, with that ancient and faded history approach being optimised by the moody style.
There’s not a lot to say about the first issue of The Fourth Sun, because, to tell you the truth, not a lot happens. As a basic introduction to story that will inevitably unfold in later issues it works fine but it’s ultimate achievement is the make readers hope that the next issue will offer more in the way of plot and action, things which are in no abundance here.
Have you read The Fourth Sun? What did you think of it? Let us know in the comments section below or send us your thoughts on Twitter!