Helm vol.1

Helm is an Eisner-nominated comic series that takes place in a post-industrial revolution fantasy world, from Action Lab Entertainment. Volume #1 collects the first five issues of the series.

I’m not sure what I think of this book. It’s objectively good, don’t get me wrong. Just bits of it felt off to me, and I just can’t tell if it’s only me. The first two chapters take place on a train full of students going back to school, complete with agents of the government searching the train for magical bad guys. My years of reading and watching Harry Potter tells me this is an entirely normal thing to have happen, if not actually a common occurrence. (Actually, the train part may well be in some places. But around here trains are for oil and grain, almost never people and even more rarely for magical bad guys.)

Near the end of Chapter 3 we meet Rusty Six-Guns, he is the only anamorphic character in the book, and only one of three obvious non-humans that show any intelligence. He’s a great character but still felt out of place to me.

I can’t say just why these things bug me, but they do. Thing like that aside, and it is a great read. I love most of the setting, I love the concept. Mauricio Caballero’s art is clean and distinctive. It reminds me a bit of Disney’s Atlantis, which isn’t a bad thing. Creator/Writer Jehanzeb Hasan has created something incredibly unique and wonderful with Helm, and I’m curious to see where it goes.

For whatever misgivings I’ve expressed here, they are completely on me. As I said at the start, objectively this is good. Very good even. I’m giving this a 3.5 out of 5 and feel like I’ll very likely grab Volume 2 down the road.

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