REVIEW: ‘Skybound X,’ Issue #1

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Skybound X #1

Skybound X #1 is an anthology series published by Image Comics under its Skybound Entertainment banner. The anthology will contain a series of stories that focus on the world of multiple Skybound titles in honor of the Skybound imprint’s 10th anniversary.

The first issue contains four stories. Part 1 of “Rick Grimes 2000” is written by Robert Kirkman, penciled by Ryan Ottley, inked by Cliff Rathburn, colored by Dave McCaig, and lettered by Rus Wooton. “The True Story of the Ultramega” is written and illustrated by James Harren, colored by Dave Stewart, and lettered by Wooton. “Fezron Fezroff” is written by Chris Dingess, illustrated and colored by Matthew Roberts, and lettered by Pat Brosseau. Finally, “Clementine Lives!” is written, lettered, and illustrated by Tillie Walden, with Cliff Rathburn providing tones.

“Rick Grimes 2000” is set in an alternate universe where The Walking Dead‘s protagonist Rick Grimes awakens to a war between humanity and a race of alien invaders responsible for the zombie invasion that Rick and his group of survivors battle. The story spins out of a non-canonical ending in The Walking Dead #75, which itself was based on Kirkman’s misleading Image about The Walking Dead‘s plot in order for Image Comics to greenlight the series. Keeping in line with the sci-fi elements of the story, Rick has a robotic hand to replace his missing one and wields a weapon that looks suspiciously like a lightsaber. Other Walking Dead characters like Tyrese and Michonne receive updates to their wardrobe and weaponry. Even the malevolent Governor wears a full black ensemble complete with robotic appendages.

Even though the undead threat has been replaced by a threat from outer space, Kirkman still manages to pack “Rick Grimes 2000” with The Walking Dead‘s signature brand of human drama and shocking plot twists, particularly when Rick meets back up with his allies. It also marks the first reunion of Kirkman and Ottley since Invincible ended. Ottley, along with McCaig, brings his trademark hyper-kinetic violence and gore to the page. It’s topped off by McCaig’s bright color palette, which is a jarring contrast with the violence at hand.

The “Clementine Lives!” story brings Clementine from The Walking Dead video games into comic book canon. Walden gives audiences a tearful goodbye between Clementine and her friend AJ as she departs for parts unknown. Walden’s artwork adds to the melancholy, as it is entirely shrouded in black and white while having a rough yet unique feel to it. Clementine’s story is slated to continue in a trilogy of graphic novels from Skybound’s young adult imprint Skybound Comet, and reading this story, I know it’s in good hands.

I was ambivalent on the other two stories in this issue, mainly because I haven’t picked up Ultramega or Manifest Destiny. However, I will say that “Fezron Fezroff” amused me due to Dingess’ witty script and Roberts’ illustrations for a story that felt very Looney Tunes-esque in execution. And Warren can draw the hell out of a fight between a giant Kaiju and a giant superhero.

Skybound X #1 serves as a solid celebration of the imprint’s 10th anniversary, especially with its signature series, The Walking Dead. The next issue looks to explore even more series within the Skybound roster of titles, and I’m fairly sure that there will be something for everyone over the next few issues.

Skybound X #1 is available wherever comics are sold.


Skybound X #1
4

TL;DR

Skybound X #1 serves as a solid celebration of the imprint’s 10th anniversary, especially with its signature series, The Walking Dead. The next issue looks to explore even more series within the Skybound roster of titles, and I’m fairly sure that there will be something for everyone over the next few issues.