[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]
Amber was left at the Merton Castle Orphanage as a child. She found a friend in Amanda, and the two grew up and were accepted to the Cleverland school in London. After five years, they graduate with high honors from the school. Unfortunately, Amber and Amanda discover something insidious about the London school’s head, Kavotz. When Amber and Amanda attempt to publicize it, their lives begin falling apart. Amber just might end up completely on her own.
Amber Blake #1 gives the origins of Amber, an extraordinary girl forced to live through extraordinarily traumatic events. The girl who suffers through them is a far cry from the woman comes out the other end.
It opens up a story of spywork and intrigue in the vein of James Bond and its descendants. Unlike Bond, Amber’s origin is important to who she becomes; James Bond’s story was never that important to his spycraft.
While the opening moves forward slowly, things fall apart very quickly–that’s one of the weaker parts of the comic. A lot happens fast with large time skips, and you’re left scrambling to keep up.
Another problem is that Amber has little-to-no agency in this opening issue. Everything happens to her; she does little-to-nothing. On top of that, we don’t get much of her personality. While this is the first issue, it would help sell the series if Amber were a more vivid character.
Butch Guice brings the art to the this story, and, as always, Butch Guice delivers some impeccable work. The texturing and detail is incredible, and the book looks great from beginning to end. The color art is well-balanced too and gives a lot of atmosphere to the book.
Amber Blake #1 has a lot of promise and potential. The first issue gives a strong portrait of where this character is coming from, even if it doesn’t define her personality all that clearly. Mix a solid start with Butch Guice artwork, and you have a book worth recommending. Feel free to check this one out.
Amber Blake #1 comes to us from writer Jade Lagardere, artist and cover artist Butch Guice, letterers Christa Miesner and Robbie Robbins, and variant cover artist Catherine Nodet.