The eyes of someone who is unusual will see things differently from the majority. Often, these unusual characters are the ones to upset the previous order to create new ones. We have seen this story before, of course. There was Mowgli, the boy raised by wolves who brought down cultural norms by bridging the human and animal kingdom. I am thinking of the 1994 film Rudyard Kipling The Jungle Book–The actual stories that Kipling did were more of cautionary tales using anthropomorphic animals. All those stories can be accessed for free from Project Gutenberg. Or even the street ruffian, Aladdin, using his wit, resources,and silver tongue to woo a princess (the Disney film of course. It’s been a long time since I read Arabian Nights so I can’t remember how the original goes).
There are other notable characters that come to mind as I read Feathers. Whatever its influences, the story centers around an abandoned child in a country’s poor region known as the Maze. The boy is rescued by a wandering old man. He grows up skimming across the rooftops using his resources and good nature to rescue other children. He has to hide within the shadows for this young lad is covered in black feathers. As an the added cuteness, he is named Poe.
Meanwhile in the posh inner parts of the walled city, a young privileged, adventurous girl named Bianca just yearns to step beyond the walls of the city (Hey, that sounds like another character I know…). Against the wishes of her close-minded mother and through flimsy reasoning, Bianca is able to go along with her father to the maze. To the surprise of no one, she is runs off to explore the city on her own. This girl can climb tress and is headstrong. Did they really think a set of locks was going to keep her in the carriage.
Guess who she meets atop the rooftop?
Feather is an all-ages comic that sets an motion a story where the blending of two worlds circles around an unusual character. It was created, written, and drawn by Jorge Corona. The art style definitely gives it away that this is an all-ages comic. Corona is able to soften elements that are horrifying but won’t terrify the wee ones. There is a panel where I am pretty sure the bad guy in the shadows ate the children, but there was no horror elements to it all. For a scaredy-cat like me to not even react to that panel just shows how very friendly to children this is.
The story would sit very well for those who fans of styles like Teen Titans. Poe’s design really reminds me of Robin if he actually was covered in feathers. From previous panels, I am assuming that Poe is sensitive to the light, thus the goggles. I am wondering about the lack of the beak and if his bones are hollow. Can he fly?
So what kind of a story will Feather be? No clue from the first issue. Nothing is explained about the backstory of the characters. We are left in the dark about motives, intentions, or plans. Whatever dark nefarious deeds are underfoot, there is one thing that seems clear. This will be story of friendship between two children.
Feather has all the elements that I like but it didn’t resonate with me. Maybe that’s because I have seen this story so many times before. Maybe if the story was not so toned-down for an all ages audience, this may have piqued my attention. For younger readers who loved stories about strange characters, friendships and adventure, this would be a better book.
It also probably doesn’t help that every time I see a walled city, I think of Attack on Titans.
Feather is available at your local comic book retailer from Archaia studios January 2015.