Destiny NY Vol 1: Who I Used to Be

Writer: Pat Shand
Artist: Manuel Preitano
Publisher: Continuity Entertainment

What happens to a Chosen One after they’ve fulfilled their prophecy?

Logan goes to Destiny, a university in New York founded specifically to help the Chosen Ones given prophecies by seers that allow them to change the world. But Logan fulfilled her prophecy back in seventh grade, and now she’s directionless while her friends move on with their lives and their destinies. A grad student at a school, completely aimless and pissed off by seeing her ex-fiance’s engagement on Facebook, Logan runs into Lillith and feels an immediate connection to her. Unfortunately, Lillith just might be an ancient evil that Logan’s friend Gia is prophecised to kill.

Destiny, NY is one of the funniest, most sincere and heartfelt comics I’ve read in awhile. It manages to be a romance/slice-of-life story tied up in a magical world of absolutely mundane prophecies and powers.

Pat Shand’s quippy, funny, and absolutely natural dialogue between characters is what carries the book. Logan’s constant narration is a constant stream of thought and characterization that endears her to the readers and keeps the pace of the comic constantly moving forward, giving it a sense of momentum. Other characters are confident and aggressive, self-conscious and shy, charming and friendly, or any other combination and all of this is brought across in dialogue that is an absolute joy to read. You really get a voice in your head while reading this comic for each character that truly brings them to life.

The whole comic has charm and heart to it. It’s just as easy to get invested in Logan’s love life as it is to be invested in the insane prophecy that’s taking over Gia’s life, or the dark past the Lilith is trying to run away from. The passion of the creators comes through in the energy with which these characters are written no matter what they’re doing.

It’s also a joy to see characters interact. Even minor characters in the comic relief subplots are compelling and multi-dimensional, despite ostensibly only existing for occasional jokes tacked onto the main plot and character drama.

Before I go on too much about how much I love the way these characters are written, I should talk about the artwork by Manuel Preitano. Preitano draws characters crisply and clearly and gives them expressive faces and body languages that works hand in hand with the excellent writing to further bring them to life. The characters are always at the center of any given scene, which can occasionally give the feeling of events floating in space instead of being grounded in a location, but I think it works here, character-driven story being matched by character-focused artwork. A few locations do standout though, the coffee shop Logan works at, Lilith’s apartment, and the titular school.

Mention needs to be given in the way world-building is handled as well. For such a unique and fun concept, playing it completely understated ends up being the right move. Again, this is a character-driven story, and keeping the focus on the characters even in the face of such a strong core concept ends up being the right call. Instead, as plot details play out in the background of character drama and elements of the world are revealed naturally through dialogue, it works to build an image of the world without overshadowing the actions and stories of the characters. This ends up being the right approach to world-building.

I feel as if I could talk for hours about this comic, going over why I loved Logan and Lilith, Gia and Anthony, Augusten and Ms. Davids, and everyone else – or how every single sub-plot feels impactful, or how artwork manages to balance beautifully strange magic and grounded realism, but then we’d be here for, well, hours. Suffice to say, I loved Destiny, NY thanks to the brilliant writing and artwork, and the passion put into it.

Rating: 5/5

More Info: For more information on Destiny, NY and Continuity Entertainment, check out their Website.

Geek-o-Rama received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, comments and opinions are those of the individual reviewer.

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