NonPlayer Issue 1
NonPlayer is not only well-written but also visually breathtaking . It’s hard to pin down what’s better, the multilayered writing or the painstakingly rendered images of the virtual fantasy world. Either way, this book will pull you in and make you want to play in this fantasy world of the comic.
NonPlayer hits the ground running and doesn’t stop for one second, not even to catch its breath. Most of the story takes place in a virtual world known as the “Scape,” a world much like World of Warcraft or any other MMORPG (for those not in the know, it stands for “massively multiplayer online role-playing game”), with main characters, Dana and an as of yet to be named character playing an Elf. With a high reward on the line, Dana and her Elf partner ambush a group of villainous NonPlayer characters. The battle heads south for the duo as they are defeated and sent back to a waiting area where they wait to be resurrected. One interesting incident during the fight happens when Dana goes to strike down a NonPlayer princess but she ends up disappearing which is not the norm for NonPlayers. The NonPlayer villains certainly seem to act differently from other NonPlayer characters both before and after the battle hinting at a larger plot thread that will undoubtedly run throughout the book. After the resurrection Dana reminded by a robot that she will be late for work, Dana leaves the game and heads back to the real world or as she calls it the “Meatspace” but before she is able to reach work, Dana quickly returns to the Scape. In the real world, we learn that there was a disaster that changed the landscape and way of life for everyone.
Nate Simpson is both the writer and artist of this book, and balances both jobs very well. Based on the dialogue alone, it is clear who are the NonPlayer and Player characters. Simpson does a fantastic job capturing the essence of the Player characters without pulling from stereotypes of MMORPG-playing people. Another great component of the writing is Simpson’s multilayered plots, be it the NonPlayer characters being more than just virtual robots, an catastrophic event that happened in the real world that changed the course of humankind or Dana’s inability to cope with the real world.
On the art side of things, the pages are so beautiful and well-composed. From the magnificent landscapes to the breathtaking mythical creatures, it is simply food for the eyes. The way Simpson captures light and color temperature almost makes you feel the warmth of the sunlight or the humidity of the environment. With the action, Simpson will have the reader diving out of the way from the swings of the sword that practically leap out of the panels.
Unless you don’t like comics or have an aversion to fun, you should pick this up because it is sure to be the next best comic to come out of Image.
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