Thomas Alsop #1 (of 8) Boom Studios 2014 Written by: Chris Miskiewicz Art by: Palle Schmidt Reviewed by: Steven Leitman
Summary: Thomas Alsop is the current “Hand of the Island,” a title handed down from generation to generation. He guards Manhattan from evil, using his family’s prowess for magic. Being a thoroughly modern warlock, he deals with something even more evil than demons… reality television!
Review:I was intrigued by this title when it was first solicited and as I found it closer to the time of release I couldn’t get it out of my mind. Me, I love the supernatural and unexplained mysterious and the more weird the better in my opinion so a supernatural detective in Manhattan was perfect. As this story unfolds you can tell Chris has put a lot of thought into this and how he weaves the tale through the present and the past. Oh as an added bonus you see Chris monologue in the back where he tells of his discovery of the gravestone and his own obsession with it and how this came to be and you can see how the process has come to life.
Thomas is a magician and he’s also the Hand of the Island. An agent of the Island of Manhattan who is told to go places on the Island to hand the supernatural disturbances as they occur. Its been his family’s job since Richard Alsop was cursed by a local Indian Shaman in 1699, passed down from generation to generation. I like the idea here that he's unable to really leave Manhattan and yet has to protect it as well, it’s an interesting dilemma really.
I like the story thus far as to how he’s come to this point in his life, a media sensation thanks to Youtube and a video made by his best mate, who now also happens to be his producer Marcus Rogers. How he came to be both is an interesting tidbit of information. This whole issue of introduction to the story and the characters is being handled beautifully. While a lot is happening character wise and little on the “storm front”, it’s alright since we really are getting a feeling of what it means to be Thomas. How he copes with his shall we say predicament and all can be quite typical and adds a flavour to his character that I appreciate.
Oh, can I say that the opening pages where we really meet him for the first time are really well done by Palle. Though in all honesty I was hoping we’d see just a bit more from the front, heh he still comes across as rather seductive and almost rebel without a cause like. Actually his work throughout the book has that almost out of focus quality that lends this air of uncertainty to it that makes some sequences more powerful than the focused ones.
I do like how the book split in half basically from a meeting between Richard and Thomas then the family’s background and how it all began to the realization that the same threat Richard faces in the past is rearing its head again in the present almost as if things are full circle. While I’ve mainly focused on Thomas, the story surrounding Richard is just as intense and interesting and possibly more so considering the time it encompasses.
There is so much going on here both with words, narration, dialogue, and in the visuals that you think it should be overwhelming but it isn’t it all ties together incredibly well and flows wonderfully. This is my first exposure to both Chris and Palle but if this level of intensity and amazement follows through all 8 issues you better believe I’m a fan for life. This is beyond expectation and is one of those rare finds that blends the supernatural and history in ways that can seem perfectly normal.
Editor's Note:Steven Leitman who runs a Facebook page known as Reading with a Flight Ring was kind enough to allow us to run this review of his on here! Thanks Steven!