The Marked #1 is published by Image Comics and written by David Hine and Brian Haberlin. The artwork is done by Brian Haberlin. Coloring is handled by Geirrod Van Dyke, and lettering is done by Francis Takenaga. This issue follows the life of Saskia as she navigates her new life as one of the chosen few in the world called The Marked.
The Marked #1 is about a young artist named Saskia. She receives a poster prompting her to draw what she sees. She ends up drawing a unique picture that cannot be seen by the average eye. Saskia then appears at the location on the poster to turn in the artwork and meets a cast of interesting women who are collectively known as “The Marked”. Here she is taught about Avatars, which are used to harness one’s power, and glyphs, which are designs placed upon the body to utilize magic. As Saskia begins to learn about her powers, she is struck by a tragic event, resulting in costly consequences.
The dialogue in The Marked #1 felt relatable. Most of the characters are relatively young and around the same age, resulting in the use of more modern-day terminology. The way the characters interact with one another is quite fluid and up to today’s norms. Overall, the language and terminology were kept rather basic, with even Kismet speaking in a way that the reader could easily follow. Even the older, wiser characters spoke this way, avoiding any differences in dialect that may make it not only harder for Saskia to communicate with them but also for the audience to understand the dialogue. The decision to do so helped keep the story pace steady and, at the same time, keep distractions from the story to a minimum.
The Marked #1 introduces a wide cast of characters. Saskia, who was just recently recruited into The Marked. Mavin who is also introduced at the beginning of the comic, and who is in charge of the Town House, the place where The Marked reside and train. Liza who is a Marked with unique glyphs and a happy-go-lucky temperament. And lastly, Kismet, who is an “inscriber”. Kismet’s powers include projecting a person’s avatar into the physical realm. On top of this, she can also place Avatars upon the skin of The Marked. Kismet also retells the history of The Marked.
The plot in The Marked #1 starts off unbelievable. The way Saskia traveled to a place she knew nothing about and joined a group of people she had little knowledge of without much of a fuss is rather odd. However, as the story progresses, the reason why Saskia decided to stay begins to make more sense. After being given some backstory on who The Marked are and what their purpose is, the questions the audience has at the beginning of this issue are cleared up. I do believe that the plot works quite well, but only once certain questions are answered by the end of the issue.
The pacing of The Marked #1 is adequate. It’s a bit fast in the beginning but then begins to slow down near the end in order to avoid too sudden of a cliffhanger.
A theme that is rampant in The Marked #1 is to be careful of your powers. This lesson hits home at the beginning of the story when we see Saskia lose her eyesight. Although the reason she loses her eyesight is explained later on in the issue, The Marked #1 presents the reader with a very stern warning about abusing one’s powers.
The art which is handled by Brian Haberlin is really good. There are some areas in the comic where the character models looked a little weird, but it doesn’t distract from the impact of the scene. The action sequences are really good and work well with the story to make everything seem believable.
Geirrod Van Dyke knocks the coloring out of the park in this issue. The colors pop on each and every page. Whether it’s just character models talking or the reveal of Saskia’s Avatar, the coloring is rich and beautifully handled.
The lettering by Francis Takenaga is perfect. Everything from sound effects to basic dialogue is handled very well. The spacing makes the words easy to read. The scenes aren’t cluttered with a lot of chat bubbles, but that’s also because each panel is quite large in comparison to the amount of dialogue shown.
Overall, The Marked #1 is a very fun and entertaining comic. Its use of history, science, and magic is a delightful combination. Anyone who enjoys science-fiction, magic, history, or just a good storyline with a prominently female cast, will enjoy this comic.
This issue will be available for purchase today at your local comic book store.
Overall, The Marked #1 is a very fun and entertaining comic.