Writer: Andrew Sebastian Kwan / Artist: Sebastian Kwan / A.K. Komix
From the get go I was intrigued to buy this comic on the grounds of 1) possible badass female character on the cover in a non-hyper-sexualized pose, and 2) realizing that this story takes back in a post-apocalyptic future. The first page opens to this black page with these vaguely bleak words:
We’re treated to a beautiful headshot and gunbattle that introduces us to Sera, a young woman with great aim and a reckless but determined spirit that has more than likely helped her survive this far. She’s on her own and not afraid to be. I wonder what her story is: Who is she? Where are her people? Upon disposing of her pursuers, a map from one of them reveals that a settlement is somewhere nearby and she takes off to it. Whether it’s a paradise or a deathtrap, she doesn’t know but is willing to take a look as she’s surrounded by wasteland and dead bodies.
It’s here we meet the other central character in the story, the proverbially unmovable rock to the unstoppable force that is Sera’s character. Lastly, we come back to The Rose, a place of refuge, perhaps a sanctuary of sorts, a town closely guarded with one man seemingly in charge. He is referred to with the utmost respect, sits diligently on watch with a unique mask covering his face. When he stands, he is tall, scarred, and menacing with an appearance instantly reminding me of a favorite comic book villain who takes pleasure in breaking backs. Yet he rises to tend to the people of the town: he listens and acts as mediator and hands out justice. He makes amends, too. He’s referred to as The Armless, and while I can’t sooner figure him or his unusual name, he, like Sera, has made an impact on me.
This issue ends with justice being severely served by The Armless and a definite cliffhanger with someone from Sera’s past who is familiar but totally changed. Add in the other unique characters that make an appearance halfway through this issue and you’ve got a comic that not only holds your attention, but keeps you questioning the folks you’ve seen in the pages so far. What are their true intentions? How far will they go? And what happened to shape them into the persons they are now?
8 Headshots out of 10
If GEL #1 looks promising to you, be sure to pick up a digital copy here! See more of the artist’s work on his DeviantArt page to catch up on updates on his current and future projects here. And if you needed confirmation on the rating, it’s a sure rating of Mature Readers only.