This initial outing for new comic series Awake is an intriguing one. The cover itself is well presented and ethereal, offering an introduction to the main characters and a feel for the general atmosphere of the comic. The use of bright colours and magical imagery plays to the fantasy of the publication.

The comic opens in a dark, desolate land with what appears to be a small wolf sat alone. A glowing orb falls to the planet and with it comes a young girl named Regn. The wolf drags the girl to safety and as she awakes she needs to find her Orpus, which turns out to be a large bear/wolf style hybrid who acts as her protector. Regn has come to the planet as she possesses a power. She is able to heal and waken up desolate and dormant planets. We are also introduced to two male characters who appear to be on a much more alive planet where the sun is shining and they are sat in a boat fishing on a beautiful lake. One of whom, Picar, appears to conjure a power similar to Regn but we are not privy to whether or not it is the same power, or something different.

This initial opening of Awake brings with it a myriad of questions. Whilst these questions offer some mystery which makes the story all the more compelling, there are almost too many. We are introduced to characters, but also concepts that are given no background. Whilst this is an effective storytelling tool, it is on the verge of being over-used.

The visuals in the comic are striking. There is a strong use of complimenting colour pallets that makes certain images startling and beautiful. The images do not strike the reader as over complicated or unnecessarily detailed and some of the simplicity involved add to the aesthetics of the comic. The artwork is aimed more at a cartoon loving audience and is less adult than you may find in other comics, however it has a charming, science fiction mixed with fantasy appeal that will enamour it to a wider audience than just children.

The story itself, although opening up a whirlwind of questions, is introduced in a way that is both intriguing and almost warm. The speech offers tinges of humour that add to the depth of the characters and aids the reader in beginning to develop a bond with the characters. This is also helped by the use of a young female protagonist who has a special connection with an animal protector. Not dissimilar to the same tactic used in The Golden Compass book and film, this is an endearing relationship and one that will resonate with audiences, provoking emotion by using innocent character types.

Whilst Awake opens with many mysteries and unanswered queries, these help to draw in the reader and leave them wanting more, even if it falls just short of the risk of throwing up too many questions. The comic is visually pleasing with strong use of colours and imagery. With an endearing relationship between the main two characters, Awake is well put together and offers a strong introduction to what promises to be a compelling storyline. Three more comics are currently completed for release, and I for one can’t wait for the next one.

Have you read Action Lab’s Awake yet? What did you make of it? Let us know in the comments section below or send us a Tweet!

About the author

Stu Laurie