‘New Masters’ never loses its emotional character-driven center as it slides through a variety of genres all in service of honoring the Afrofuturism science fiction core of this story. The Coker brothers and their collaborators have created a truly special world that has such depth and is gorgeous to behold, while leaving so much more on the table that could be explored which makes the world feel even more grounded and real.
Creating a whole new world full of fleshed-out characters that the audience will gravitate to and want to read more about is a difficult thing to do at times, but some creators make it seem super simple. Shobo and Shof Coker’s New Masters world gets deeper and denser with the fourth issue while bringing in a whole bunch of awesome/energetic gorgeously drawn but dangerous bits of action.
We pick up right where the last issue left off with the crew being struck with a surprise attack to steal the artifact, they stole themselves last issue. There is some great interplay between Ola and her Uncle D/Denarii as they are the last two crew members standing, and from there we go right into tons of action and get to learn a bit more about the enigmatic Denarii.
Shof’s artwork is so dense and detailed and is filled with such kinetic energy, it just flows across the pages dipping from close-ups to wide shots and everything in between. I love the variety of panel shapes and how they work to draw the eyes to various places or whatever direction that the story needs us to be going at any given time. Once more Francesco Segala is on board, with assistance from Julmae Kristoffer, to help Shof with the colors, keeping to the very watercolor-like appearance we’ve seen, shifting between the brighter and darker colors that keep their Earthy or toned-down sort of feeling.
Lettering is smooth and gives us a ton of easy-to-follow bubbles as well as a plethora of big bold fun SFX that give all the action even more life. This is the big chaotic action scene that comes after a successful heist in any given story, and it feels just like it’s about to leap off the page to play out before our very eyes.
Through all this action and big moments, we get a lot of great quick and deep dialogue between characters that give us more insight into them and this world. Shobo has made sure that every character, no matter how big or small to the overall story, feels like they are a real person with their own backstories and potential, and character. We won’t explore all of these characters but that’s not the point, the point is that they all have weight and make this world feel lived in rather than just being hollow NPCs essentially.
I love that this book retains its Afrofuturism science fiction focus while also jumping through various types of stories/genres along the way. It not only fits the story but gives us different insights into the world and characters, while also showing just what these brothers and their collaborators are capable of creating/doing.
New Masters #4 is now available.