Review: PrideLands #1

From the very first page this issue states what it is about; it’s about struggle, politics, death and the list continues. Unfortunately the only thing that came through was the “death” part of the story. It would be nice to imagine that the story had a deeper meaning, but I think that would have required it to have a different structure all together. There are two parts of the story; one part follows tigers in India and the other follows lions in Africa. In India we see a tiger drinking from a river and attacked by a crocodile. After a struggle the tiger kills the croc and the tiger’s son arrives to feast as well. The dad basically tells him to piss off and just as they’re about to fight a third tiger tells them to stop and look at the forest. I think it was on fire, but it just looked foggy and the story never goes back to this scene.

In Africa we see two female Lions talking and one of them is ready to give birth. For some reason the pregnant one goes off to a hill away from the rest of the Lions to have its litter and after giving birth is attacked by a cobra and really her day only gets worse from there.

Pride Lands #1 CoverTo be clear the animals all talk and when they do there’s a lot of discussion on what a man’s job is and what a woman’s job is and really every character comes across as yelling at each other about gender roles. The story never connects the pieces between the two stories and the story of the tigers never connects either. In a way there’s three stories and two locations.

The story with the lioness confused me the most and I will spoil the story a bit so if you don’t want to know what it is then skip ahead a paragraph. The lioness is attacked by hyenas that apparently have some vendetta against her, but it’s never explained why. Also one of the hyenas turns on the other, but in the pages earlier they knew the score of killing her and the cubs. At least I thought it was implied; why else would you wait until after she’s given birth? This part confused the shit out of me and then the story just ends.

That is the biggest problem with the story is that there is no flow. Scenes just end without any explanation of why we were reading it and why we’re now reading something different. If it’s just supposed to be short little tales following animals then… I’m not sure a lot of people are going to care. I hate to be that frank about it, but if there is no other reason than “just because” to the story then it’s the same as someone telling you why they picked out the socks they have on. Sure it’s something you didn’t know, but did you want to know in the first place?

The art is strange. It’s a mix between very realistic and not realistic enough. You will see the mother give birth to the cubs and it’s awkward more than anything else. The hyenas look very over exaggerated and broke the realism of story. I didn’t hate the art, but I didn’t love it.

I have no idea who I would recommend this book to. It’s tough because I don’t want to just bash the book, but everything it says it’s about on the first page didn’t come through, at least for me. Someone else could have a different experience, but it was just lions and tigers doing stuff and no story or narrative to follow or at least not one that I could pull from the page. If you’re at all curious though, you should check it out and decide for yourself.

Score: 1/5

Writer/Creator: Dallas Wilson Artist: Salathiel Anacleto Publisher: RocketBlast Comics Website