October 6, 2017

First Friday 5: Call to Adventure

Many comics feature a "call to adventure," something that sets our young heroes' journeys in motion and ignites the impetus for the story. These calls to adventure mean doing whatever it takes to protect loved ones, like joining forces with unlikely groups of people and encouraging (but sometimes forcing) our protagonists to go up against their greatest fears to save the world. No one knows what he or she will do when put up against these forces, but the protagonists in these five comics show readers that anyone can accomplish anything.

Written and illustrated by Nathan Hale

It was supposed to be a routine mission, but let's face it: when is it ever truly routine? When Strata and some members of her clan are scavenging the local ruins, they stumble upon something much larger — and much more sentient — than they knew existed, and it ends up putting not only their own lives in danger, but the lives of whatever's left of the human race. Hale sticks with a phenomenal palette of blacks, whites, and grays, with only yellow accents to highlights to draw the eye in.

Shattered Warrior
Written by Sharon Shinn and illustrated by Molly Knox Ostertag

Eight years after Colleen's home world is invaded by an alien race and humans have become enslaved, she learns that her niece Lucy is alive and in need of her help. But nothing comes without a price, and Colleen soon finds herself getting more and more involved with the Chromatti, a violent resistance group looking to cripple the alien force and regain their human rights. With her one friend Jann and her niece Lucy, Colleen struggles to make sure she contributes to the rebellion while never putting her new little family in danger.

Spill Zone
Written by Scott Westerfeld and illustrated by Alex Puvilland

Three years ago an undefinable event destroyed the small city of Poughkeepsie, killing Addison's parents and forever changing the realities that lie within the borders of the Spill Zone. Addison frequently (and illegally) ventures into the Spill Zone to take photographs of the twisted scenes she finds there, selling them to provide for herself and her mute sister Lexa, who hasn't spoken since the incident. Art collectors pay top dollar for these bizarre images, but getting close enough for the perfect shot can mean death or worse, and Addison soon finds herself walking a fine line.

The Stone Heart
Written and illustrated by Faith Erin Hicks and colored by Jordie Bellaire

The chaos continues in the Nameless City as two warring factions grow more and more violent. When Kaidu accidentally finds a formula for a lost weapon developed by the founders of the City, he struggles with what to do with it, knowing that turning it over could mean a complete betrayal of Rat. The second book in the Nameless City series, this book takes the story further, develops characters more, and provides a ton of fun action for readers to follow.

The Witch Boy
Written and illustrated by Molly Knox Ostertag

Aster's world is very black-and-white: girls become witches and boys become shapeshifters. In fact, the only instance of a boy becoming a witch has haunted his people for years, and the rules about participating in the wrong magic can have dire consequences (not to mention you get made fun of a lot). But Aster sees things a little differently, and when a mysterious danger threatens the other boys, Aster has no choice but to out himself as a witch and save his village. This book is a fascinating commentary on gender fluidity and what is "expected" of boys and girls.

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