MINOR SPOILERS BELOW
Ether Vol. 1: Death of the Last Golden Blaze is the first collected volume of a fantastic comic book from Dark Horse. The book is penned by the multi-talented writer/artist, Matt Kindt whom you may know from MIND MGMT, Dept. H, or so much more, and pencilled by David Rubin who draws the hell out of this book, balancing the feeling of Who Framed Roger Rabbit? with Steamboat Willie.
The world of Ether is fun, weird, vibrant, and sometimes scary. It is full of rich characters like the primate guide, Glum, the evil creepy old man, Ubel, as well as a large cast of oddities like a bird who sings that will make you sick, screaming bullets, giant metal golems, and so much more. Their world is not like our own. A minute in their world is a lot longer in ours, so the longer you stay there as an Earthling, the older you get in a short time. We learn that by following the goofy, yet brilliant, Boone Dias who visits the Ether in search of who killed The Golden Blaze. The plot unfolds over time, and while we learn things as Boone does, we also get glimpses into his and other characters pasts that explain the world, and the context of everything much better.
About halfway through this book, or maybe a bit more, we get to see more of Hazel, Boone’s former lover and partner. Here is where the story turns on its axis a bit, and delivers us a lot more information about the world, Boone, and their relationship. We see Boone as a loner, aside from his working with Glum in Ether, but here we can see a man so obsessed with this world and it’s secrets, it changes him in the process. Kindt does an excellent job at storytelling through flashbacks, as well as bits dropped by some of the other characters about what happened in the past.
Rubin really shines on the artwork, and gives this book so much personality. From Glum, the fairies, Ubel, Hazel, Boone, and the other ridiculous things we see, everything looks like stills from a cartoon. Now I know that sounds like any comic book can be, but I can’t help but imagine this book in motion, and wanting it immediately. Give me an Ether animated film, and I will be a happy man. Either way, this book is enough of that to make me smile with each page turn. I tip my hat to Rubin, especially when Kindt is such a good artist himself. That shows the confidence in Rubin that Kindt has. I mean it, this book is absolutely beautiful.
I read the comics as they came out each month, but I would highly recommend this book in this collected volume. This is an exciting page-turner that is truly so much fun. It’s light hearted, but can also be touching at times when you least expect it. The creators have crafted a rich deep world with interesting characters, and mysteries. I always want to read more Matt Kindt, and now I want to see more David Rubin, and honestly, I want to see more of them on this book. Sometimes, it is best to leave something when it is good, and not deliver too much of a product, but I think the world of the Ether still has a few stories left to tell.
Story: Matt Kindt Art: David Rubin
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy
Dark Horse provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review