I enjoy it when a series manages to make the next issue feel like a natural extension of the previous one. That is the case with this second issue of Skyward. The issue actually picks up with some of the characters introduced in the FCBD issue and after the events in the previous I believe will be a part of the supporting cast for future issues. The issue kicks off with an introduction to two kids: Jon and Abigail. I’ll let you figure out which one is the competent hunter and which is the bumbling klutz. They return to camp after a Bull Dragon gets away and Abigail begins complaining about Jon (alright I told you anyways). Before the arrival of the kids, their fathers were discussing the patrol they’re on currently and the increase in beasts being spotted around the village. The discussion is interrupted when another member of the monster hunters arrives and inform Abigail’s father that Corin’s house is on fire.
After heading in the general direction of Corin’s death, they leave the kids behind to discuss the gruesome details. Abigail suddenly remembers Corin’s son and they split up to follow Quinn’s tracks that she’s found nearby. That’s when they notice the Slog-Rider’s tracks following Quinn and his dog Jack.
The pacing was great for this issue. I especially enjoyed the coloring change when Abigail was depicting the events that happened to Quinn. It’s quite the cliffhanger for the next issue. For this issue though it was by far the best scene of the issue and very powerful as Abigail’s emotions play a role. Meeting the new characters or at least spending more time with them outside of the FCBD chapter gave this issue a unique feel. It honestly could have been the first issue if creator Jeremy Dale had wanted. I like the fact that both the first and second issue is interchangeable in that way. Either of them could be your first and second read and the story would still make sense and be impactful.
A huge part of the story is Dale’s art and Downer’s coloring. The character’s expressions hold a lot of weight from a simple look of disappointment to an entire campsite shocked, Dale makes them all believable. The part that has the biggest success to me personally is his scenery and creature design. The world has a realistic depiction and even though it’s brightly colored it still has the impression of danger; it’s just that there’s a strong impression of adventure as well. Downer’s coloring is fantastic and elevates the book on so many levels. It’s amazing to see the lighting change as the story progresses and the day changes from morning to late-morning. There is a sense of time passing that is very important to the narrative of the story and the cliffhanger.
I’m hooked on this series and the fact that Action Lab made it its first ongoing title tells me that others are just as interested in it. I hope that it inspires other creators to dabble in the action-adventure genre because Dale has done a fantastic job of breathing new life into it. If you missed the first issue I would definitely say that you should get it, but don’t feel that you need to read it first. Again, that’s what’s unique about this issue is that it reads like a first issue so it’s an easy place to start.
Writer/Artist/Creator: Jeremy Dale
Colorist: Steve Downer
Publisher: Action Lab Entertainment
Release Date: 8/7/13