Review: Betrothed #1

Kieron and Tamara are both seniors at the same high school. They’ve never paid much attention to each other, even though they are the only kids at school who are orphans. On the eve of their eighteenth birthdays, they discover a lifelong secret: in a dimension far away, they are each the leader of an army that is at war with one another… and what’s more, when they turn eighteen, they’re to be Betrothed or Fight to the Death!

Take Romeo and Juliet and put them in charge of two warring factions, that’s the concept behind writer Sean Lewis and artist Steve Uy‘s new series.

That comparison isn’t an unfair one, the first issue lays that out multiple times with Kieron and Tamara referencing Shakespeare’s work. It’s smart in a way in that we now know what to expect and of course are predisposed to a tragic ending. The issue though is that it comes up a bit too much which makes the first issue and series concept come off too much like an admitted swipe which we’ll compare the original work to. So, a double edged sword. With familiarity also comes comparisons.

The set up is good though. Immediately we’re introduced to Kieron and Tamara and a way they’re both likeable and not at the same time. We’re also run through the concept by a sear. It’s a bit too much tell instead of show but it also gets us to the main point instead of dragging things out. Interestingly that telling comes from what amounts to a “bard,” which I have to think is a winking nod to the playwright.

The art by Uy with lettering by Simon Bowland is good. The characters and warring factions are absolutely distinctive but it all has personality. There’s a nice look about the two factions and the alien world has a lot of potential. Still, there’s some odd poses in panels but nothing to really throw things off.

The first issue is good setting up the situation and giving us a good idea as to the world we’re introduced to. While there’s some narrative and art issues it’s nothing that breaks the comic in any way. The first issue feels like a good start and from here the question is how it’ll differentiate itself from the rather famous play it references a bit too much.

Story: Sean Lewis Art: Steve Uy Lettering: Simon Bowland
Story: 7.0 Art: 7.0 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

AfterShock provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review