From the mind of multiple Eisner award-winning writer Skottie Young comes a new fantasy adventure that will fill readers' hearts with courage, determination, and hope. Written by Skottie Young with artwork from Kyle Strahm and Jean-Francois Beaulieu and lettering by Nate Piekos of Blambot, Twig #1 from Image Comics follows the hesitant hero, Twig, and his trusty pal, Splat, as they make the most on the first day of being adventurers.
Twig #1 opens with the blue, furry protagonist waking up to find out he is already late on his first day as an adventurer. His yellow snail friend Splat accompanies Twig on his back as the young fellow makes it through the woods filled with flora and fauna that remind him how late he is. Finally, the duo makes it to the other end of the forest, where the towering Mount Guphin welcomes them and again reminds them of their tardiness. After a short lecture, the mountain lets the young adventurers in through his mouth, where they reach a mine inside as little moles work away. Arming him with a red gem and a map to the Pathsayer, Twig is sent on his way to save the world.
Twig #1 lulls the reader into comfort with a straightforward story that moves linearly from point to point, carefully lining up the quest-style narrative with enough expository moments. Writer Skottie Young creates an interesting team dynamic, portraying Twig as a courteous, well-spoken young chap and his companion, Splat, as a sassy yet resourceful pal. The two soon find themselves in a precarious position. Meanwhile, dialogue forms the backbone of the issue as they relay context and information as to the nature of the tale, slowly building the foundation of a great adventure.
The artwork of Twig #1 gives the feel of a vast, welcoming open-world game, with Kyle Strahm's puffy, cute-faced illustrations and Jean-Francois Beaulieu's heartwarming colors making the pages look bright and shiny. The squiggly grass and the wispy clouds create a soothing effect on the reader, instantly disarming them. There is a certain degree of goofiness attached to the anthropomorphic designs of the characters that easily give a cartoonish aesthetic to the book. From the rocky tongue of Mount Guphin, creating a natural arch, to squishy bugs playing in pink shades of water bodies, the wild and vivid topography of Twig reeks of inspiration and imagination as the colors play their part in providing the underlying warmth.
Flowing like a breath of fresh air, Twig #1 is another vibrant addition to the fantasy-adventure genre with its feel-good artwork and easy-going storytelling. While there are clear indications of inspiration from Jeff Smith's Bone, the story is still too confined in its formative stage to create page after page of thrilling encounters yet. Young takes it slow with his creation, giving readers the feel of the world before launching them headfirst into the depth of the mystery. Twig #1 takes the characters down an unexplored path as they themselves come with different aspirations, ending on a shocking note that will bring readers back for more.