Elsewhere #1 (Image Comics)
The mystery of Amelia Earhart is still captivating, even today. I mean, just look at the media attention that the History Channel got when they claimed they had a picture of her a few weeks ago. With that attention, I’m surprised that it’s taken this long for a comic creator to attempt to tell her story. While Elsewhere isn’t an entirely factual depiction of what happened to the famous pilot, the Jay Faerber and Sumeyye Kessgin debut issue is an intriguing spin on the classic “Heroes Journey” story that we’ve seen time and time again.
Elsewhere finds Amelia Earhart arriving in Korvath, a mysterious world that seems like a cross between the Island of Doctor Moreau and medieval England. After meeting Cort and Tavel, Earhart is told of their history fighting the evil Lord Kragen, who may or may not have Earhart’s plane. Believing that Cort and Tavel can help her find her travel mate Fred, Amelia agrees to help the two try and stop Kragen, even if that means she needs to be kidnapped to get near him.
Jay Faerber made a big splash a few years ago with Copperhead, and his pitch for Elsewhere is pretty awesome. But, as strong as this premise is, Elsewhere doesn’t really go anywhere in this first issue. We’re introduced to Cort and Tavel, as well as Amelia, but aside from the initial set up for her story, there’s very little forward momentum with this issue. That being said, Faeber’s world and characters are really interesting, and it would be nice to see more of them.
Sumeyye Kessgin’s art is really vibrant and dynamic, which goes a long way towards making Elsewhere stand out. Kessgin’s character designs for the creatures of Korvath are pretty cool, and the cartoony style works well with Faerber’s script. The only thing lacking is that some of the backgrounds look a little bare, but then again, a lot of Elsewhere takes place in open fields and plains, so it’s possible that we’ll see more details in the world when the characters enter some more populated areas.
Elsewhere has a lot of a potential to be a pretty cool spin on the fantasy genre, and including Amelia Earhart is certainly a way to make it stand out. But there needed to be a little more forward momentum to keep the interest going. By the time I finished the issue, I really could’ve used at least a few more pages. As it stands right now, Elsewhere could be a pretty solid trade paperback story, but as a monthly it might be lacking.