Fantasy, magic, and tattoos collide in the exciting new Image Comics series The Marked #1. Saskia wanted nothing more than to be an artist, but she gets more than she bargains for entering a local art contest. Writer David Hine (Spider-Verse, BulletProof Coffin) and artist/writer Brian Haberlin (Medieval Spawn/Witchblade) invite you to enter an extraordinary imaginative world where history and power control the destiny of the future. The Marked #1 is an invigorating journey through time that you’ll definitely want to check out.
The Marked #1 is about a young graphic artist named Saskia who enters an art competition from a handout given to her during a trip to her local coffee shop. The grand prize is a twenty thousand dollar one-year scholarship for a creative design course. All she has to do is draw what she thinks she sees in the picture on the flyer. To the baristas, it looks like an ordinary drawing of a woman but Saskia sees so much more under the surface. She wins the contest to discover that what she’s won isn’t a course in an art school but an initiation into a secret society of tattooed warriors who protect the earth from the forces of evil.
Hine and Haberlin have crafted a genuinely imaginative series that ties together an alternative history that aligns various historical events like Hitler and Nazi Germany to the Marked society of world protectors. Each gifted individual bears a unique tattoo that gives its bearer a different power. It feels like a modern-day version of an old cartoon series I watched growing up called Visionaries: Knights of the Magical with its own flair added to it. A lot of the origins of The Marked are fleshed out well through the dialogue of the characters and the pacing is right on point as well. Hine and Haberlin don’t waste any time thrusting us into the action. The story isn’t told in chronological order as when the book begins were introduced to Saskia when she’s already obtained her powers. She’s narrating the story from that point to take the reader along to see how she got to that point.
Haberlin does a fantastic job of incorporating paintings, tattoo art, and some amazingly strong pencil work to bring this book to life. It’s got a great unique zesty blend to it that we haven’t seen too much in other books before. It looks more like a bunch of paintings and art in a museum than in a comic book. This was definitely a missed opportunity for 3D glasses, which I don’t think has been done in a comic in quite a while.
The Marked #1 is a remarkable comic and a great introduction to this mystical world that you’ll be excited to continue to explore. The artwork is amazing and the plot is really interesting. Hine and Haberlin did a perfect job introducing us to the world and characters of this great series. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for Saskia as the series continues.