Amber Blake, which is published by IDW Publishing, is written by Jade Lagardère, illustrated by Butch Guice, and lettered by Christa Miesner and Robbie Robbins. In the comic, readers are introduced to Amber Blake, who is given up by her mother at a very young age to the Merton Castle Orphanage. She spends most of her childhood and teenage years that the orphanage until she and her friend Amanda are recruited to the Cleverland Institute, a school for gifted children. However, not everything is at it seems when it’s revealed that several faculty members abuse some of the students. As she attempts to expose the school’s secrets, she is caught and finds herself on the run. While fleeing for her life, she discovers that she’s not the only one trying to expose the school.
From just looking at the cover of the comic, it’s easy to just judge this as another action series that wouldn’t really stand out from the rest. But the premise alone was enough to attract my attention and become invested in the story. The character of Amber breaks the stigma of kids that live in orphanages, showing her as someone who has amounted to great success both in the orphanage and at the Cleverland Institute. It will be interesting to see how her character develops from here and how she deals with the events from this issue.
The illustrations help shape the eerie feeling of darkness that the comic gives off, which in turn help to add to the emotions of the heavy themes covered in the story. The small glimpses of the Cleverland Institute that are shown seem to be a red flag for the fact that the place could have secrets.
Much of the overall story in this issue flows well and was established to near perfection. Most of the main characters and villains were established and felt like they belonged in that story. Each of them felt like an integral part of the story even after one issue. Given where the issue ended, Amber’s real journey is only just beginning.
Without going into spoilers, it would have made sense for the relationships between Amber and Amanda to have been fleshed out more. Same could be said for Amber and her mother. This relationship could be developed in further issues, but all readers are given is just information about the bracelet Amber got from her mother. World and character building is something I always look for in any form of literature. It’s one of the main things that gives me the opportunity to invest in the story. Her friendship with Amanda skipped a few steps in showing how they became so close. I can see that they’re close, but nothing had really proven to me why other than Amanda saving her Amber from bullies.
With all of this in mind, I can say I had a blast reading this comic. It’s found a way to make the story feel original and does a fantastic job with creating a story that will have people eager for more. My only fear is that this will quickly fall into a generic action story that does no justice for the female lead. Regardless, I’m very much looking forward to the next issue.
Amber Blake is available now wherever comic books are sold.
Amber Blake #1
With all of this in mind, I can say I had a blast reading this comic.