Written by: Miles Greb, Art by: Chris Lewis Lee
From Nothing, Something comes. Espers is a creation mythology. Most fantasy stories begin in the waning days of magical power, at their height, or on some damn crusade to reclaim a lost era. This story isn’t that. This story is a beginning. This is a comic of Genesis. There was nothing, not even void. There was only the infinite regress, and his name…was Lotin, the great serpent.
The first few pages of Espers #1 are absolutely stunning. As a philosophical serpent ponders endlessness, I luxuriated in the atmosphere and artistry of this great beast and his watery nothingness. I was super-excited. But as things opened up to more, nothing managed to feel that good again. And the more I read, the farther from that feeling I got. This actually works very well for the theme of the book, but it’s a hard pill to swallow for the reader. I was in love with the beginning of Espers. By the end though, I war barely in like.
While our thoughtful snake was pontificating to himself, the writing didn’t bother me at all. But as more characters were introduced, two things happened. Everyone sounded the same. And they all sounded like there were trying too hard. The overall effect is somewhat like I would imagine a creation parable designed by a committee of angtsy teens. The language is too convoluted. It’s trying too hard to sound meaningful and important. It all makes good sense once you’ve gotten through it, but all you can think about along the way is, “There’s so many better ways to say all this.”
And sadly, the art diminishes as well. The endless water is clearly the artists favorite image in the book, because nothing else looks as good. And as more elements are introduced, things look worse and worse. I think if I had been shown the first page and the last page, I would not have believed they were from the same book. And now, as much as I want more of those first few images, I’m also a little afraid things will get even worse if I keep turning pages.
Espers starts off very strong, though. And that may be it’s greatest weakness. I honestly think I would have enjoyed the book more if it had been consistently above-average. Watching this creation unfold, and meeting the inhabitants of this world could have been an amazing journey. But as things are, I’m not excited about reading more. I don’t want to journey any farther from the greatest. In fact, I’d much rather it go back to being just me and the snake again. Man, those were good times…
Absolutely Stunning Atmosphere
Most of Espers looks amazing, but those first pages of unreal art set up a promise that the rest of the book can't quite keep. It's still good, but I'm left with a feeling of being let down a bit. I'd still like more, but I doubt more would ever have the magic of that first, quick look.