By Dustin Cabeal
My first question with any fantasy story is, “is the fantasy element needed to tell the story?” You’d be surprised how often the answer to this question is a resounding, “No.” That is the case with Chronospire, which is a world full of elves and ogres, but a story that requires neither element to function.
The first issue takes its time to introduce the main character and her happy life before destroying that and creating the conflict of the story. Our main character is visited by herself from the future and told that they’ve jacked up the world and only she can fix it. Spoiler, she probably just needs to learn how to let go of her anger and move on with her life after the family tragedy.
That’s the biggest problem with this story, it’s familiar, but there are zero reasons for it in its current form to have elves and ogres. There is intense racism going on between the elves and ogres which is just a stand-in for the real-world problems of people having problems with immigrants. It’s almost a disservice to the story and theme to soften the blow by having fantasy people deal with these real-world problems. My point is that when the fantasy characters are living normal lives, driving cars, paying bills and dealing with racial tension in the world… why do they need to be elves? The entire time I read the issue I failed to understand why they were the way they were because it added nothing to the story.
The artwork is decent for the most part. There’s a couple of pages and panels that have odd proportions, but for the most part, it was all very competent and consistent. It’s not my particular cup of tea either, but I can still appreciate and grasp the skill that went into the artwork. The coloring is weaker than the linework. There are a bit too many fills, and the lighting effects stand out too much, particularly on the main character’s hair.
Chronospire is a time-traveling adventure. I don’t know why the uninitiated teenage version of the main character would be required to save the world, but then that’s how stories like this tend to go. You’ll either be interested in the series after reading this issue, or you’ll move on to something else. Personally, it wasn’t an idea that felt fresh but instead recycled with a new coat of paint. That paint coming in the form of elf ears and ogres wearing glasses.