Nothing’s as gripping as a good mystery, especially in the first few issues of a new series. Enenra #1 and #2 drops the reader in the middle of one mystery, while slowly revealing another. This is how the comic is split; between two storylines and an ambiguous time jump that overall hints at a larger, more horrific premise. Enenra #3 and #4, written by Aaron Wroblewski with art from Ezequiel Rubio, are crowdfunding on Kickstarter. We took a look back at the first two issues of the interesting new series.
Each issue has a short prologue set in an indeterminate apocalyptic future. We’re dropped into these sequences in-media-res, and after two issues, there’s still a lot to be explained; hospitals rusting in the rain, decayed skeletons, competing survivors, and strange inhuman creatures hidden half in shadow. The only thing clear about this future, where the world of Enenra ends up, is the constant state of threat.
Rubio’s art drip feeds us this information, keeping it specific and enticing. Half of the world is hidden in solid black shadows across the page—or, it’s only suggested as synecdoche in smaller and obscured panels. Both issues of Enenra generally stay to a monochrome palette, switching colours between shadows and highlights. These prologue sequences especially favour a duller grey, which further obscures the mystery of the setting. After their short prologues, the majority of #1 and #2 are spent in the present day.
The main content of Enenra is the mystery of Flight 432. A passenger plane is totally unreachable from the ground. When it lands, all the passengers have been killed by an uncertain infection. This presents a different sort of mystery. In the prologues, we the readers are in the dark. But in the main story we aren’t – or at least, we’re on the same page as the protagonists. We follow the investigation of Flight 432. We gradually discover there is more to the passengers’ deaths and this mysterious infection than it initially appears. This is probably wise from a storytelling standpoint. The comic gets to have its cake and eat it with both types of mystery.
The prologues provide gripping action to begin each issue. That setting would be a frustrating mystery for a whole issue at a time, or it’d lose its lustre being explained too soon. So in the main story, this investigation in the present day, the different characters we follow are as clueless as us. We follow the mystery alongside them. Crucially though, Wroblewski also establishes his leads as experts in their field. Enenra is not hesitant to use more complex jargon, whether we’re in an airport control tower or inspecting corpses. These characters are competent. This mystery is worth their time, and so it’s also worth ours.
The second issue also spends a couple of sequences introducing us to late passengers of Flight 432 prior to their flight. Why exactly? That’s unclear. Though they have tenable links to the protagonists, breadcrumbs like this will surely build to something larger as the series goes on. By the end of #2, we get a much better idea of what this story will be, and what exactly led to the future we saw at the start of each comic. Enenra understands its mystery and how to balance the story and art to slowly reveal that mystery to the reader. The first two issues deliver just enough information to entice me into the next chapter.