Take a little bit of the Fritz Lang classic silent film Metropolis. Add equal portions of the movies Gladiator, Spartacus, and the Star Trek television episode “Bread and Circuses”. Mix in a little bit of Caligula and some mad science/bad medicine and you could have one hell of an awful mess. But in the hands of writer and master chef Chuck Amadori, you have Issue # 3 of Tether, a working epic, spanning several characters, several landscapes, and several facets of a rich and interesting tapestry, both in written and visual form. I have been largely impressed with Amadori’s epic. Impressed I would say with his ability to cram a whole lot of story unto a 24-page format. With Issue #3, that ability continues to be demonstrated as we spend equal time with the struggle of gladiator’s/torture victims Alina and Velang, rebellious slave Zarran, decadent and disturbed Emperor Trovaar, Doctor Cybin, and Doctor Murrell. And finally, bad assed warrior Primus Plask. I told you that a whole lot gets covered here.
At the heart of these stories, we are seeing some forms of connection, but the links remain elusive. Emperor Trovaar apparently has an issue that requires assistance from Doctor Murrell. But what that is, we are not quite sure. It apparently is a secret, kept even from a rather intimate companion in Dr. Cybin. As for Zarran, he has been working to rally the slaves down in the bowls of Tether Mountain to revolt and escape. But he has not had a whole lot of success to date. Things happen within this issue however that might just change all that. Regarding Alina and Velang, recovery from the sadism of Doctor Murrell is the bill of fare with an uncomfortable proposition laid out to be played within the future between these two. I’m not going to tell you where Primus Plask fits in, but he aims to play an intricate part as things move forward. Things are getting kind of tense.
It has been fun watching writer Chuck Amadori move the various pieces around the table like a chess master with very little strategy being revealed as of yet. Within Issue #3 though, that strategy (among other things) are starting to be revealed quite prominently. The big pieces are starting to move and the pawns have stopped. I look forward to see where Amadori’s pieces go from here.
New for this issue, the art duties have been left to Edson Alves on pencils and Marcelo Dantas on inks who replace Ruvel Abril and Marcelo Salaza. And they do a very satisfactory job in portraying Amadori’s vision. Alves has a strong eye to body symmetry that works well with the changing balances of the different stories at play. The images are pretty to look at with strong sharpness and contrast provided by Dantas as well as coloring through Matheus Bronca and Bobby Penafiel. All contribute to make Amadori’s story pop.
Overall, I found this third issue of Tether to be the best to date of a strong series. The nice thing about it all is that the ceiling is high, allowing for more room to continue the growth. I don’t see things stalling out anytime soon. In fact, it looks like the action is getting ready to hit on all fronts at the same time.
Tether #3 Writer: Chuck Amadori Artist(s): Edson Alves (Pencils), Marcelo Dantas (Inks) Colorist(s): Matheus Bronca, Bobby Penafiel (Flats) Publisher: Isle Squared Price: $1.99 Format: Mini-Series; Print/Digital