Making her series debut Emma Kubert is following up her work on Radiant Pink, Inkblot, and Frank Miller’s Pandora with Stoneheart. As both the writer and artist for Stoneheart this new series dives into the action/adventure fantasy genre rather than superhero. Based on the solicitation Stoneheart has a good hook with the lead character set up to be an outcast due to circumstances. How does the first issue turn out? Find out with Stoneheart #1.
Writer & Artist: Emma Kubert
Given how the infinite number of fantasy stories we get it worked to Stoneheart #1 advantage that it starts off in the middle of a story that is already in development. This start allowed Emma Kubert to put over the world and characters that exist in it. This led to a new comic book world that you can be immersed in.
The tone for the world Kubert presents with Stoneheart #1 is set by the opening. While the art style is not one that hooked me I appreciate the opening having the black and white art style. It gave these opening pages an ominous tone as we learn why our series lead in Shayde Whisper is exiled when we see her in the present day. Not hiding that there is much more to Shayde’s character than the light-hearted character who inspires to be a blacksmith.
Having this explanation does make it so that you are a bit on edge of when the character we are presented with for Shayde in the opening may appear. Which makes her personality stick out even more as we know something is hiding within her. This leads to wanting to learn more about how further interacting with the people in the town she ends up in impacts her future.
It also gives the relationships she forms over the course of Stoneheart #1 have added layers to the way those interactions go. Kubert fills the cast out with a wide variety of characters. It leads to a world that feels lively as you have Shayde deal with a variety of characters, which you want from a new series.
That said, there are some rushed elements to this first issue. Because we spend time seeing how Shayde getting used to the town not every character she meets get to be given time to fully care about them. There are moments at the end that just push things to feel more like we are closing up the story rather than starting one. That’s hopefully something that is fixed in the next issue as things develop in the world around Shayde.
When it came to the artwork, as mentioned earlier, the opening black and white art was the best. It set the tone for the story to be one you are intrigued by. The rest of the issue is where the artwork just doesn’t hit. There is a lack of detail with the background and certain characters looked incredibly rushed with their design from panel to panel. Shayde as the series lead is the only part of Stoneheart #1 where the artwork is consistent. This is a huge part of Stoneheart we see improve as Kubert gets more time with drawing this world.
Stoneheart #1 is a solid start to this action fantasy world. The lead character is established well to put over why she is so key to the world Emma Kubert constructed. With improvements to the artwork Stoneheart will only grow better.
Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 5 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10