Inkblot is a new fantasy series from Image Comics that follows a powerful sorceress who studies magic and makes a small mistake in a stuffy library. That small mistake is a black void in the form of a cat who can create portals and really needs to put a lid on the cat before all of reality is destroyed. It’s a story that reveals a brand new fantasy world to fall in love with, and a story that may satiate fans hungry for more magic in their lives.
If you’re a fan of fantasy stories with wide sweeping history and a complex world of creatures and cultures, you’re going to love Inkblot. It opens with a full backstory on the world that catches readers up to speed in just about five pages of excitement and intrigue. Rusty Gladd writes a solid script here, telling a tale via captions — each of which made of a bit of paper — that is new and interesting. Enter the main character, who is a sorceress, but is confined to a library to study magic. This character is instantly likable and quickly relatable when she makes a mistake that creates the void kitty cat.
Drawn by Emma Kubert, the opening pages are efficient and tell the tale well of this world’s past. It feels epic in nature and will satisfy the fantasy genre fans. The art reminded me of Matt Wagner’s style, which isn’t hyperrealistic, but detailed when it comes to environments and backgrounds. You can tell this book is meant for all ages due to the art, which is never too scary, but still interesting enough to capture your interest.
What makes this first issue work so well is how it introduces the world, drops us into the Seeker’s lifestyle, and then throws her into the deep end with a problem to solve. While she’s attempting to capture the cat, and not die from giants, she shows off her powers and helps reveal her abilities to the reader without talking down to us. As we hold the quick history lesson in our minds, we attempt to figure out where she goes when the cat forms a portal and what dangers may lie ahead for her.
The book does end a bit abruptly, though, with a cliffhanger that left me wanting. One more page might have given us more about where the cat went or even more information about the sorceress. The heavy backstory in the opening gives the book a bit of an unbalances, plot-wise, never connecting the dots quite enough to bring it all together. I’m sure it will as it goes on, though.
This issue drops us into a new fantasy world well worth exploring with a main character you’ll root for. It has everything a fantasy needs, save for a bit more exploration of the main character. That said, Inkblot has all the trappings of the next great fantasy series.