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Unbound #1 Review

5 min read
Nothing is forever ... success is always fleeting.

Nothing is forever … success is always fleeting.

Creative Staff:
Writer: Ralph Tedesco
Artwork: Oliver Borges
Colors: Leonardo Paciarotti
Letters: Carlos M. Mangual

What They Say:

In an alternate world called The Ether, a werewolf hunter named Lukas tracks down a mob outfit whose leader is a Lycan named Cain. After Lukas teams with a monster hunting newbie named Mama, the duo is able to locate their target. But an unexpected turn of events reveals that nothing is quite as it seems.

Content (please note that portions of review may contain spoilers):

On the world called Ether a bounty hunter named Lukas has a respected reputation and he takes advantage of it with great pleasure, allowing those who idolize him to offer free drinks and be showered with endless praise. However, this prestige was thoroughly earned by his accomplishments of being able to bring in the most ruthless criminals, so as the man gulped down a complimentary beer he also paid the bartender to see arms dealer Briana in the back. After a quick exchange of friendly greetings, the two settled down to business, with Lukas asking for her best weapons and adding in closing for a strange request of silver ammo. With this exchange now concluded the celebrity left this establishment but could not exit without more devotees asking for a special favor – if they could accompany him on the latest hunt and while he was used to this request the audacity of people wanting to gain fame by just coming along doing nothing was something he hated all the more.

However as he arrived at the location of his latest manhunt it did not take long after ducking into a shadowy alleyway to learn he was being followed, so with a swift draw of his sidearm, he confronted his amateur pursuer. The pink mohawk sporting woman tried to sweet-talk her way out of the confrontation but could do nothing when Lukas confirmed she was following him the entire time. After a terse discussion of not wanting a sidekick and having no problem of pacifying someone who will not listen, the overly zealous girl finally offered her final proposal – to pay this hunter for a chance to learn from the best without a need to split the bounty once this fugitive was captured. Having no problems with free money being paid up front in case she was killed during the chase they joined forces and continued to stalk the prey, soon finding an abandoned building that served as a front for the wanted man. But as they silently took down distracted guards, the nameless girl soon proved herself helpful in this endeavor with her swiftness and skill shown in her quick thinking, even if Lukas did not want to praise her for above-average efforts.

In Summary:

While the main premise of Unbound reminds the reader of Blade Runner, writer Ralph Tedesco does manage to sneak in an unexpected surprise in at the very end, which is what makes this series promising in the outcome and interaction with the audience. From the beginning, we cannot separate Lukas’ adventure against what may be presented as a normal futuristic journey, with the self-important protagonist being shown as such due to his celebrity reputation and yet takes full advantage of this position with no shame in displaying his superiority. Although this may be his normal attitude, you cannot but wonder how he was able to make it this far without relying on allies who are not motivated by greed or a need for business opportunities like Briana, thus his personality appears superficial even if it does make sense once the truth is revealed. However as we adjust to this bounty hunter’s tale, the introduction of his new partner discloses another character flaw which seems unlikely for someone of his position – being trusting of a stranger who was clumsily following him and does not give her name, but all faults are ignored when she brings up the notion of paying for his time. Why would someone in such a dangerous occupation be willing to ignore the warning of finely tuned instincts which should be screaming when the promise of cash is mentioned, such a trait would normally prove fatal in his line of work but he still goes forward with the partnership. As such one should not be surprised by the outcome and yet he is once the conclusion comes to its abrupt end with Lukas the one lashing out at his own stupidity. How are we supposed to accept someone with such shallowness to become the hero is this title? Hopefully, the next issue will allow for some humbling repercussions and mold him into someone who is respectable … otherwise, this may prove to be a short-lived series.

You cannot view this title without being impressed by the visual daring of the opening page, to be initially overcome by an electronic array of vibrant colors wondrously applied by Leonardo Paciarotti all as he tones down the emphasis upon the actors by anchoring them with muted earthen shades, with Oliver Borges’ vigorous illustrations emphasizing each actor to full effect, especially when Lukas bursts upon the scene with his larger than life attitude. His wide grin with sparkling white teeth contrasts boldly against his dark skin to project his confidence, a full leather duster trench coat, and holster tied to his upper waist show he is not someone to mess with, as swagger of his movements exudes a personality of overconfidence. However it is not until we exit the bar does the combination of interior and exterior atmospheres finally materialize to see his crimson flying car set against the majesty of opulently lit high rises lording over the slums below within a pseudo-utopia, all as one of course remembers the classic movie poster from Blade Runner, all expecting a replicant to start running across a distant rooftop. This dynamic synergy of artistic talents allows us to believe in this questionable future and wonder if Lukas will be able to survive after his questionable choices within a challenging story.

Unbound has an encouraging foundation for a title, but with the pompous attitude of Lukas spoiling the believability of the story one begins to wonder if he has not sabotaged his own narrative due to his arrogance. While spectacular artwork projects the reader into this gritty world and makes us ponder what may happen around every corner, you cannot but question how we may survive if you cannot trust even yourself. And yet the combination of an unknown future and a protagonist who is lacking in anything which makes him worthy of the title hero may just surprise us within the coming issues of this intriguing series.

Grade: B+

Age Rating: T (for Teens)
Released By: Zenescope
Release Date: October 23rd, 2019
MSRP: $3.99

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