Umbral #1

Umbral #1

Writer: Antony Johnston Artist: Christopher Mitten Publisher: Image Comics Release Date: November 13, 2013 Cover Price: $2.99 Critic Reviews: 19 User Reviews: 4
7.7Critic Rating
8.0User Rating

"THE DAY DAWNED TWICE" - A NEW DARK FANTASY FROM THE CREATORS OF WASTELAND! The young thief called Rascal witnesses the horrific murder of the royal family — now the world's dark legends will be relived, and only Rascal even knows it's happening!

Master worldbuilder ANTONY JOHNSTON (Dead Space, Daredevil) and his Wasteland co-creator CHRISTOPHER MITTEN (Batman, Criminal Macabre) bring you a new fantasy world rich in mythology, history, and blood! Extra-long first issue for the regular price of $2.99!

  • 10
    AiPT! - David Brooke Nov 13, 2013

    Kudos to this team for creating a fantasy series worth reading with a female protagonist! That's a rare thing indeed. I'm not sure what is going on exactly at this juncture, but I want to learn because he world and characters are so damn vivid. Read Full Review

  • 10
    Comic Bastards - Dustin Cabeal Nov 9, 2013

    It's not that I went into this issue expecting to dislike it, rather I went in expecting I'd like it alright. Instead I fell for it and hard. I can't wait until the next issue. I can't wait to see how screwed over Rascal is and none of it from her own doing. The plot is big; the main character is bold, but the imagination and setting are even bigger and bolder. Don't miss this book, especially if you like magic and adventure. Read Full Review

  • 9.5
    Comic Addicts - Akshay Dhar Nov 19, 2013

    The story might be a tiny bit disorienting for those not big fans of fantasy and elaborate world-building, but for those that are " it promises to be a treat! Johnston has proven on more than one occasion his love of and skill at this part of story-telling and couple that with letting the uber-talented Christopher Mitten go wild and draw from the kinds of monsters and demons that scared us as children in the dark, let's just say it leads to something that reads quite beautifully! Read Full Review

  • 9.1
    Multiversity Comics - James Johnston Nov 14, 2013

    Really, even if you're not a fan of the fantasy genre, “Umbral” is definitely worth a try. Experimenting with genre conventions from Arthurian lore and Lovecraft, Johnson, Mitten, and Rauch have created a whole new fantasy world that is just ripe for stories. Even without the plot involving The Umbral, there are enough intriguing details, mysterious scars and knights who are gone in a flash to keep this series going beyond what the main arc has to offer; this statement of course keeps in mind that the main plot is already a creepy murder mystery/reality bender starring a likable young thief and some terrifying monsters. For a new creator-owned series it shows plenty of promise, and just as just as that last page says, “Umbral is coming.” And you're probably not going to stop hearing about it for a while. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    The Weekly Crisis - Ricardo Guajardo Nov 12, 2013

    I do feel this is a promising start to a comic that already delivers on all fronts and am already anticipating the next issue. The next wave of new titles in my opinion rivals other comic companies, and makes this worth buying on the all formats. Go pick this up folks! Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Comics: The Gathering - kanchilr1 Nov 13, 2013

    Mitten and Johnston come alive in the second half of this book. Watching the tale naturally progress from one point to the next is thrilling, and shows some real ambition on the behalf of both of the creators. Umbral #1 is a fantastical introduction into a brand new world. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    GoCollect - @octii_pies Nov 14, 2013

    While the illustrations can be tweaked a little, the environment and colors make up for it a bit. The writing is spot on to show the backgrounds and personalities of each character, minor or not. I want to continue to follow the plot- something about mysterious magical things plus unintended female protagonists make me latch on. Id definitely suggest you pick up this book if, at least, you like the fantasy genre in any media. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    The MacGuffin - Matt LeMaire Nov 12, 2013

    UMBRAL is off to a great start, and the combined talents of Antony Johnston and Christopher Mitten look to take us on an adventure to the darkest recesses of this fantasy world, challenging us to face what hides in the dark. In quickly establishing our hero and the central conflict, this first issue serves as a great chance to pick up this series and see just what's in store. So face the darkness and give UMBRAL a read. Read Full Review

  • 8.5
    Comicosity - Jessica Boyd Nov 13, 2013

    Those who enjoy fantasy adventures will feel right at home in Johnston's use of vernacular. For those who do not venture into books of knights, princes or wizards, you might feel a little lost. Let me be clear, though, Johnston makes a point of this being a horror book that plays on your imagination and the things you think you see in the dark. So, it's not a book everyone can enjoy, but many will find engaging and unique. Monsters abound in place of dragons. Rascal is not portrayed as a goodie-girl stuck in the world of bad men, but instead owns her devilish personality. Set in a realm where her reality and nightmares collide Rascal is quick to own her flaws and use the desires of the shadows against them. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Bloody Disgusting - ShadowJayd Nov 15, 2013

    Umbral #1 proves to be another successful comics endeavor for Johnston and Mitten, and highlights many of the typical core elements of the high fantasy genre. Looking forward to more. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Comic Book Resources - Marykate Jasper Nov 13, 2013

    Mitten also uses a fascinating fluidity of space that makes you understand just why Rascal hates magic so much. Rooms expand and contract without warning, depending only on how much room a particular menace has decided to take up. Staircases, walls, and passages appear and disappear. Combined with Rauch's colors, the end result is exactly the combination of dreamworld and darkness readers would expect from a nightmare, giving the world a very distinct look and feel. Who needs the map in the front to establish a world when the art is this impressive? Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Crave Online - Andy Hunsaker Nov 15, 2013

    Johnston's story keeps you guessing – you don't really expect things like Arthir getting zapped out of existence, leaving Rascal holding the bloody stump of his arm – and he wastes little time in getting the story in gear. The first issue is a full-on shadow-jerk invasion, after all. If magic and toothy things what go 'boo' in the night trip your trigger, you shan't go wrong with Umbral #1. Read Full Review

  • 7.0
    Hyper Geeky - ClumsyG Dec 19, 2013

    Umbral is a title with plenty of potential, and Johnson and Mitten's shoulders have a lot to bear. Fantasy settings are familiar, and without something fresh, things can go quickly south. Nothing so far has been absolutely stellar, but there's nothing to say that won't ever happen. Issue #2 could be the most important issue yet of this book's young shelf-life. Read Full Review

  • 7.0
    Graphic Policy - Brett Schenker Nov 14, 2013

    Overall, this is a series for those who really dig fantasy series. I'll stick with it and check out the second issue, but this first one didn't quite do it for me. Read Full Review

  • 6.0
    ComicList - Brandon Borzelli Nov 16, 2013

    Umbral is a book that is full of surprises. The book appears to have a much larger plot that has yet to unfold but this is a pretty good introduction to the characters and the first initial problem. I liked the book and I think this is something to pick up and give it a try. I am interested to see where all of this is heading. Read Full Review

  • 6.0
    Newsarama - Scott Cederlund Nov 5, 2013

    Umbral #1 is the beginning of a comic series that is still trying to figure out what it wants to be. While Christopher Mitten quickly cements the look and feel of this world, Antony Johnston stumbles as he tries to put together the language and sounds of it. As he blends modern curse words with made up words and names, the words just clash against one another without ever falling into a natural cadence. Umbral #1 is a comic book that is interested in world-building, but it doesn't settle into anything coherent or established in this first issue, as the dialogue clashes with itself and with the visual tone of the issue. Read Full Review

  • 6.0
    Big Comic Page - Alan Shields Nov 13, 2013

    As a dark fantasy comic, this isn't bad, but it's a familiar start to a familiar story. It may throw in a few surprises in future issues, but ‘Umbral' may struggle to shine among Image's big-hitters. Read Full Review

  • 5.0
    GoCollect - @mikebiyad Nov 13, 2013

    I think this book can be given a chance, for a few more issues at least. Although its not the most enjoyable read, fans of Johnston and Mittens Wasteland, as well as fans of dark medieval fantasy may enjoy this book. Im giving Umbral a 2.5/5 Read Full Review

  • 3.0
    Florida Geek Scene - Peter Schmeiser Nov 13, 2013

    Another strike on Umbra is that it is in comic form, which isn't too conducive to the slow burn pacing that a fantasy genre book relies on. Comic books generally have 30 pages to get to the fireworks factory, and if they don't deliver something interesting, intriguing, or inspiring, then the reader will no longer pull the book. Its a harsh reality, but a true one. There have been some brilliant fantasy books that have been able to make it work, but as we march further into the future our attention spans diminish, and readers grow anxious quicker. Comics enjoy their current popularity due to the illustrated style and quick absorption modern readers demand, but fantasy has not yet found its champion to make them work in modern comics. Read Full Review

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