Preview Review for the Week of 7/15/20: Engineward #1

Welcome to the latest installment of Preview Reviews.  This is where we give advanced glimpses at some of the comics that will be coming out this Wednesday.

Here at Pop Culture Squad, we are decidedly Anti-Spoiler.  We feel that ruining someone’s experience with something for the sake of getting a scoop or clicks is the wrong thing to do. Therefore, we have decided to publish this column, as necessary, with mostly spoiler-free reviews of upcoming issues.  Hopefully, the information that we share with you will increase your excitement for these books.

This week we feature Engineward #1 from Vault Comics.

You can find it at your LCS on July 15, 2020.

Engineward #1
Vault Comics
Written by George Mann
Art by Joe Eisma
Letters by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Cover Art by Eisma

Original Solicitation:

Earth is an ancient myth, long forgotten. Now, the word of the god-like Celestials is absolute, and they rule with brutal efficiency. When Joss, an Engineward, discovers and reactivates the head of an ancient ghoulem, she finds all is not as intended. Her destiny-and that of her world-lies somewhere far beyond the borders of her shantytown.

PCS Review:

First of all, we loved this book. The thing that stuck me upon finishing this first issue was that I wanted more. That does not mean it was lacking. In reality, it is such a wonderfully crafted environment that there is room for so much to explore and expand with what is first offered. The characters that are introduced are intriguing, and George Mann presents them with a surprising amount of depth, while not sacrificing narrative for character exploration. There is a natural order of unfolding events in this book. The plot points are connected and entertaining.

Joe Eisma really stretches his legs in this book artistically. His signature character style is clearly visible but not intrusive. There are sprawling landscape views that he crafts that are truly glorious. There are two other aspects to the art that stand out. First, the panel layouts are superbly crafted to create a cohesive visual narrative, and second, the facial action contributes massively to the emotional tone of the story. You can see how much Eisma is enjoying himself in realizing this story visually.

Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou provides the lettering in this book, and it is vibrant as well as carefully crafted. With a lesser letterer, the book would suffer due to the multiple narrative voices. Otsmane-Elhaou meets the challenge head-on and contributed mightily to a successful first issue. We are very excited to see more in this series, and highly recommend it.