LOA: CHAPTER 1 by Alika Ebomah, Andrew Harrell, Mikhail Sebastian, and HackronyM
LOA: CHAPTER 1 sets the reader up for a fast-paced action story that is sure to keep us on our toes. Writers Alika Ebomah and Andrew Harrell have crafted an exciting story which artist Mikhail Sebastian and colorist HackronyM breathe life into. Although at times the story can be slightly difficult to follow, the overall product is really fun.
80 %
A Fighting Chance
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LOA: CHAPTER 1 is the start of an adventure that we all need. With awesome fight scenes and a diverse cast, the story is a blend that is fun and satisfying. Alika Ebomah, Andrew Harrell, Mikhail Sebastian, and HackronyM bring us a story that every DRAGON BALL Z fanatic will adore. In this graphic novel series, we get action, adventure, and, of course, awesome fight scenes that are exhilarating to read. This sponsored review will explore how this story is definitely a must-read for indie comic lovers.

Osric ‘Oz’ Irons is a simple man. He works as a bouncer at a bar, lives with his girlfriend, and is just trying to live his best life. However, once we see someone trying to mug him, one thing becomes very clear: There’s something different about Oz. When a monster breaks through the wall of his job, Irons becomes an unexpected target of something bigger than himself. Literally, something bigger than himself is after him.

LOA: Chapter 1
Image courtesy of Alika Ebomah

Fast-Paced Story

Oz is shaken out of his sleep by a nightmare. It’s unclear about what the dream meant, so he brings them up with his girlfriend Penny. She suggests it might be a spiritual awakening, but Oz puts it done to late-night nachos. Either way, Oz talks about his plays for the day. He lets Penny know when he’s working and when to meet him at the club, then goes about his morning routine.

It’s obvious that Oz is in shape. He goes for a jog, talks with some of his neighbors, and even uses the punching bag for a while. However, we don’t get an idea of how strong he is until a group of thugs confronts him. Having tried to rob him in the previous week, the thugs were sure that numbers were their solution to taking Oz out. However, we quickly learn of Oz’s true superpowers.

Having defeated the thugs, Oz arrives at work and meets up with Penny and his friend, Yorick. However, Oz has to immediately go back to work when a man gets handsy with a woman. Oz tells the man to leave but he refuses. The man goes to punch Oz when a monster breaks through the club’s wall. But it seems the monster was fighting a child, seeing as the kid was on the monsters head.

The Ups and Downs

Although there were a few minor drawbacks, each character had a dynamic and unique personality that is relatable. Throughout the story, we are constantly questioning who Oz really is. There is no way a single man can take on a whole group of thugs, or punch a rock monster in its teeth unscathed. Each character often alludes to Oz being something different, but we’re never really told how he’s different. This can be a little confusing as to what is happening in the story.

But while reading, I quickly fell in love with Yorick. When we meet him, he’s 3 drinks in at a bar. Oz refers to him as Eeyore because of his cynicism. However, when Oz needs him, Yorick is there. During the fight with the monster, Oz asks Yorick to take Penny out of the bar and to somewhere safe. Yorick jumps at the chance to help his friend and his friend’s lady. But in a brief time, Ebomah and Harrell manage to make Yorick endearing and relatable through his actions. Everyone has a cynical yet loyal friend; I wish Yorick was one of mine.

The only downside I found is that, sometimes, I struggled with some of the speech bubbles. In the beginning, for example, I had trouble understanding when each character was speaking. When looking at a page, most readers use a Z pattern when scanning a page. However, the speech bubbles sometimes defy this, which can make the reading a little confusing. And, although this can be frustrating at first, I honestly didn’t mind it. It gave me the opportunity to slow my reading down and really take in the amazing art that Mikhail Sebastian and HackronyM’s wonderful art.

LOA: Chapter 1
Image courtesy of Alika Ebomah

Stunning Art

Oftentimes, doing Manga style art can be tricky. Some of the scenes can be difficult to navigate, or the art can leave the reader feeling a little lost. However, LOA is not one of those series. The art is done in great care. Each page utilizes the art to portray each persons character. Even minor characters, such as the thugs Oz runs into, have unique characteristics that no other character has. Doing this is a real skill, considering art styles can be difficult to mix. Mikhail Sebastian does an amazing job with the pages of the story. He emphasizes Ebomah and Harrell’s tensions through his angles. Top that with HackronyM’s coloring, and the story will jump off of the page.

The opening scenes are some of my favorite in the book. We get a page of wordless panels that construct Oz’s dream. The panels match Oz’s dream perfectly: it’s distorted, broken up, and unclear. They’re disjointed and we can’t quite piece together what he’s dreaming about. The pacing of these panels are difficult to decipher, but we can almost piece together what his dream was about. Sebastian does a phenomenal job of mirroring Ebomah and Harrell’s story, building the tension and raising questions right out the gate.

HackronyM’s coloring is absolutely stunning and compliments Sebastian’s art to a tee. Each panel is bright and vibrant, giving us life on each page. The colors that HackronyM chooses makes each page and panel pop without having the colors clash. And the colors they put into sunsets and skylines are absolutely stunning.

Overall Thoughts on LOA: CHAPTER 1

LOA: CHAPTER 1 is a story that’s shaping up to be a fun and engaging read. Alika Ebomah and Andrew Harrell have built a story that every action lover will enjoy. This is only emphasized by Mikhail Sebastian and HackronyM’s beautiful art. It’s still early in the series, if you haven’t checked this story out yet, you definitely should. It’s sure to stick with you for a long time.

Does LOA sound like a story that’s right up your alley? Check out the first issue here! Keep up with updates, news, and new issues on their Facebook!

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