By Ben Snyder
Elsewhere #1 is a fast paced streamlined entry point into a classic fish out of water tale. The clever twist in Elsewhere is that the fishes are Amelia Earhart and another surprise famed lost pilot. Elsewhere #1 is mostly solid plot and art wise, but the real shining star of this series is the character Earhart, who is equal parts moxie and human.
The initial concept of the story laid out by writer and co-creator Jay Faerber is pretty straightforward. Earhart crashes plane in a strange land, two escapee heroes run into her, and then they agree to help Earhart find her navigator Fred Noonan. In most stories, this would be the initial arc and to Elsewhere’s benefit, Faerber shortens a majority of this into one issue. He’s able to get away with this because we’ve pretty much heard the broad strokes of this story many times over and Faerber doesn’t really add much to the formula. Of course, the two escapees are part of a rebellion to overthrow the tyrannical despot ruler. The characters even use these terms to describe him.
The two rebels, Cort and Tavel, and the evil king don’t really stick out much and are kind of just there. Cort and Tavel share some comedic banter over whether they’re going to help Earhart, but they’re pretty insignificant and inconsequential. I do appreciate how Faeber saves the big question of "Where exactly is this mysterious land?" and doesn't do much with it, leaving it for further issues. Perhaps we could get some clever interactions between our world and this world especially because she is not the first human to end up here as revealed by the twist ending.
What makes Elsewhere truly stand out story wise is Amelia Earhart. She has the grit and courageousness readers would expect her to have, but she is shown to also be able to have tender moments of vulnerability as well. She is capable of riding the highs as she flies nimbly in the air, but also gives herself a bit of a pep talk while alone; telling herself she can “fall apart” once she finds Fred. It’s an interesting method that Faerber attempts to humanize this figure that everyone has made out to be larger than life.
Co-creator and Artist Sumeyye Kesgin’s art is serviceable at best. While backgrounds are distinct and alien enough to make the reader believe they are in a foreign environment, the character designs and animal designs are too familiar. Cort and Tavel look like hairy people with blue lines on them and the Steed’s look like hairy pterodactyls. It’s not that they’ re particularly bad; it’s just that they’re not creative enough. Kesgin is superb at highlighting the emotion on the faces of each character though; exemplified in the scene in which Earhart is crying and talking to her self. Perhaps Kesgin's proficiency at conveying human emotion on faces explain why the alien creatures resemble humans.
Overall, Elsewhere #1 is a sufficient and entertaining read. While not the most novel or creative book, it executes what it attempts well especially, the star character Earhart.