ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘Rangers of the Divide,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Rangers of the Divide #1 - But Why Tho?

Rangers of the Divide #1 is a new fantasy series by Megan Huang published by Dark Horse Comics. In a world filled with vast, unknown wilds, only the Rangers of the Divide stand to protect Veil and Ryllion, the eternally warring nations separated by the divide. But something dangerous is brewing, and a living legend Commander is bent on doing something about it.

I am absolutely captivated by the world of Rangers of the Divide. The Divide seems gorgeous and filled with ceaseless majesty, mystery, and menace alike. The conflict between the worlds’ nations barely comes into play in this first issue, opting instead to set the stage with complete mystery, few details, and one grumpy Commander. I know almost nothing about him, about the cadets whose leaders have mysteriously disappeared or the ensuing conflict, but nonetheless, I’m hooked. It’s truly the power of the world and premise alone that have me captivated.

For as strong a premise as it is, it is also all I have to go off of because Rangers of the Divide #1 offers little else to get me going with. I can’t recall any character’s name because we really only see slivers of their personalities, other than the Commander, whose name I am confused about. After all, several dialogue boxes refer to him as Commander Knight, while another seems to imply this is the name of the previous commander who has gone missing.

There is also Elsie, the one cadet who is given the most character so far.  She’s portrayed as a bit reluctant but fully brave and entirely loyal. This lack of detail in the other several cadets didn’t hinder my enjoyment by any means, and we do get small moments with each one and a closeup on their faces, so I feel confident that over the next several issues, they will get fleshed out as well. I only wish there was a bit more to consider about them as I wait for the second issue.

Visually, there are some different pairings of the group members to help distinguish them from one another, but not until the second half of the book. In the very beginning, I could have been convinced that many of them were just side characters, given they all wear the same uniform and many have similarly colored hair and shaped faces. Again, it didn’t lessen my overall enjoyment, as I was too captivated by the comic’s grand design. However, it did leave me wanting more.

Where the visuals do shine is in depicting the Divide and its creatures. Especially the dragons that the Rangers ride. They are all uniquely designed with assortments of colors, appendages, and twin tails but no wings. They have a bit of a goofy feel, a la How to Train Your Dragon, yet a loving and adoring vibe as well. I wish there were more panels where we could see them in full, so I could better admire their strong, unique design. Similarly, the Rangers, especially Commander Knight, seem to have some dragon-inspired appendages of their own, including metal tails and some webbing between arm and torso. I want to know what that is all about very badly.

The world and overall story of Rangers of the Divide have me totally hooked. The salty Commander Knight and brave cadet Elsie may be the only characters I have gotten to know so far, but the visual style, designs, and clear enormous potential have me quite excited for what is to come in this new series.

Rangers of the Divide #1 is available wherever comics are sold on May 19th.

Rangers of the Divide #1
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TL;DR

The world and overall story of Rangers of the Divide have me totally hooked. The salty Commander Knight and brave cadet Elsie may be the only characters I have gotten to know so far, but the visual style, designs, and clear enormous potential have me quite excited for what is to come in this new series.