Full Moon Rising: Reviewing ‘Lunar Room’

by Scott Redmond

Overview

Fantasy and science fiction collide in a deep character developed first issue for this intriguing new series. We’re introduced to a world that has a lot of potential through the eyes of two characters, leaving so much to explore within future issues. A beautiful and energetic bit of fun from first to last page.

Overall
9/10
9/10

Fantasy and science fiction are like peanut butter and chocolate. Two things that on their own are fantastic and bring a lot of joy. Put them together though and we’re on a whole new playing field of delight.

These two genres have been coming together more and more over the years and Vault Comics’ Lunar Room from Danny Lore, Giorgia Sposito, DJ Chavis, and Andworld Design is one of the latest to bring old school fantasy and modern/futuristic technological realms into one.

Character building and development is easily one of Lore’s greatest skills, which has been on full display across numerous comics over the last few years. It’s also on display pretty quickly within this issue as the debut of this series gives us some pretty good looks inside the heads of main characters Cynthia “Sin” Breaker (a former werewolf enforcer) and Zac Zero (a mage on the run). This is done through a ton of pretty deep and fantastic dialogue as well as internal monologue caption boxes. These boxes keep shifting between the two characters across the scenes, allowing us a look at their thoughts as well as giving us tidbits about what came before this moment (especially for Sin).

There is still a ton that isn’t known about this world and even about where the characters fully fit into things, much of what we learn about Cynthia in fact it’s plainly stated but inferred from some of her thoughts we’re privy to. It’s not a weakness that the first issue chooses to focus on character more than it does on actual world-building. While both things are necessary and could be the thing that sells a reader on sticking around, they can achieve that alone as well as they can together.

Personally, I feel that Lore’s character work is so strong that it’s enough to make someone want to come back and check out what is going to happen next from what we saw in this issue. From other works they’ve done it’s clear that they also have the world building aspects down and that surely will be coming as the series moves forward.

There is such a sleek and matter-of-fact energy and style to Spasito’s artwork within this issue. All the characters and places and even the fashion looks modern with just a twist of fantastical that makes it stand out. At the same time one of the greatest strengths goes hand in hand with what Lore is doing with the characters, the emotion/body language work is fully solid and expressive here. When we see thoughts about how these characters feel we can clearly see it as well in their faces and how they move about this world.

Also, the work done to bring the more supernatural elements, including Sin’s transformation at one point, to live pays off quite well. Sometimes the looks of characters that are outside of the ‘norm’ is hard to pull off and can bring the reader out of the story, but that’s not the case here at all.

It pairs very well with the colors that Chavis brings to the pages, which is a much more saturated bright color palette with just a tinge of darkness/shadows. This is a world full of magical and supernatural beings and items and making it as vivid and colorful as possible is a must really. While also maintaining that there is still some darkness to be found.

While detailed backgrounds that showcase the setting are always great, visually I have a big fondness for panels that just go for big bold bright colors or dark shadowy ones for the background. There is a lot of that here and it just works, as we shift from yellows to blacks and purples and a variety of other colors throughout the issue.

The folks at Andworld Design have been tearing it up lettering-wise across a number of books and publishers in recent times, and there is good reason for that. They do wonderful work, across the board. We get little differences that pop up in regular dialogue when spoken by different characters, but also the caption boxes have a lot of personality and life to them that makes sure both characters are similar but stand apart.

Chapter headers were an unexpected but nice touch, especially since each one is a different color shifting as much as the artwork around them does. Also, as noted in various other reviews I’m always a giant SFX fan and we get quite a bit of that here that just sings.

Overall this is a very solid debut issue that whets the appetite for what the world/characters are all about and leaves one wanting to check back and see what more might be revealed along the way.

Lunar Room #1 is now on sale in print and digitally from Vault Comics.

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