By Dustin Cabeal
Is’nana is a weird story. There were parts of it that were very enjoyable and made me want to read more and other parts that could have easily made me put the issue down. It’s rough around the edges and a lot longer than it needs to be. The main story works and is interesting on its own, but everything after that was hard to follow and worse, made me forget what it was that I was reading.
As far as I can tell, Is’nana is a hero. The strange cover makes it seem like maybe there’s something more to him, but everything in the volume itself depicts him as a hero. He is very much a Spider-Man character, but with an African heritage. That’s the part that works well, that and he doesn’t crack jokes, but instead is the ultimate empathizer. I’m only vaguely familiar with African lore, but I could tell from the writing that the writer was well versed.
The first part of the volume is the strongest. It starts off with the typical mugging scene, but the conclusion of the mugging is what caught my attention. It made Is’nana stand out as a character instantly. From there he was off to fight a man that had been posed by the Leopard God and forced to kill people. The fight was okay, but it was the moral outcome that I found to be the most intriguing aspect of the story.
Where Is’nana succeeds is the characters and the conversations that it invokes. Where it struggles is pacing and its sheer length. Even though the characterization is good, it’s not perfect. At times the characters are left to ramble too much, and it starts to lose itself in the natural flow of the conversation. If we were a part of the conversation, it wouldn’t be so bad, but just reading it got a little dull.
There are two artists on the book. The first artist brings the story to life and defines the series, which is really unfortunate for the second artist whose style is nothing like the first artist’s style and ends up looking off compared to the first half of the volume. It’s not that it’s bad, but it’s a poor match being that they’re so stylistically different. That and the second artist is a lot rougher around the edges. The flow was awkward, and there were a lot of challenges for them in what they illustrated. The first artist’s style is dynamic, exaggerated in a wonderful way and again, set the tone of the volume.
If the second volume/issue were shorter, I would read more of Is’nana. I was actually surprised by this issue because the title and cover were a bit misleading. The contents inside are grounded and not nearly as superheroy or horrific as I thought they would be making for an entertaining read, even if that read was a bit long.
Is’nana: The Were-Spider vol. 1
Creators: Greg Anderson-Elysee, Walter Ostlie, Lee Milewski, Joshua Cozine
Publisher: Webway Comics
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