REVIEW: ‘Origins,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Origins #1
Origins #1 is published by BOOM! Studios, written by Clay McLeod Chapman, art by Jakub Rebelka, colors by Patricio Delpeche, and letters by Jim Campbell. In the future, human civilization is no more. Where once the concrete jungle of New York City stood, now a literal jungle reigns. All that seems to remain of humanity is a woman named Chloe, and her young charge David.

Few things can grab people’s attention like a nice juicy mystery. The tantalizing possibilities of what could be on the horizon appeals to many. Incorporating such a mystery is a great move for a new science fiction series to utilize. Such series tend to start slow as characters, storylines, and even the setting itself must be fully explained. This can lead to an issue that doesn’t move as fast as many people like. But, if you can hook them with a good mystery, engaging their curiosity, maybe they’ll be more likely to stick around. I know I’m more than a little curious about what Origins #1 has set in motion.

The story opens with the striking image of the Statue of Liberty and the surrounding city overrun by vegetation. And while this basic concept has been explored, the style of growth in this image is not what one would expect as the teeming vegetation is not the northeastern temperate forest growth one might expect, but rather a much more jungle look which overwhelms the man-made structures. This implies something extremely huge has happened to not only wipe out humanity’s presence in the city but to even change the temperature zone of the area.

As Origins #1 moves forward we are introduced to our two main protagonists: Chloe and David. Chloe is telling David the story of how she found him. And it’s definitely not the first time she has done so. While the tale told by Chloe mostly runs in synch with the images the story provides, there are certain inconsistencies between them. Not straight out lies but statements that only match the story from a certain point of view. Whether these changes are being made because Chloe doesn’t think David will understand the specifics or the details don’t matter, is unclear. One of the several curiosities writer Chapman has weaved into the story.

Once the tale is done, Origins #1 jumps to the duo on some form of excursion. What they are looking for is also unclear, but what they find are numerous dangers that must be evaded, particularly from something Chloe refers to as the Network. What remains is vague but has the feeling of some sort of omnipresent threat.

The art in Origins #1 does a great job presenting its story. Artist Rebelka delivers on many of the elements wonderfully. From the cobbled together environmental gear the duo wear to their lush surroundings, everything is presented clearly and well.

The coloring work chooses to go a significantly different route than I would expect. And honestly, I think it works. Rather than go for the ultra lush, bright colors as one would expect for such a jungle-like setting, colorist Delpeche opts for a more muted look. While this takes the edge off the environments’ presence somewhat, it reinforces the overall feeling of the two protagonists. It feels more harmonious with the struggle and grimness that their existence seems to be. It is a strong choice in my opinion.

Lastly, we have Campbell’s letters. The most notable choice made here is the exclusion of the customary black border for the dialogue boxes. This works great with the previously mentioned muted coloring. As the stark black borders would’ve proved a harsh contrast to the rest of the book’s visuals.

When all is said and done, Origins #1 sets up a lot of story points while simultaneously establishing its main characters. There are enough curiosities here that I definitely want to learn more. If you are looking for a new story to take you into the new year this might be just the thing to pick up.

Origins #1 is available on November 4th wherever comics are sold.

Origins #1
4.5

TL;DR

When all is said and done, Origins #1 sets up a lot of story points while simultaneously establishing its main characters. There are enough curiosities here that I definitely want to learn more. If you are looking for a new story to take you into the new year this might be just the thing to pick up.