Seven Secrets #1
For centuries, the Order has trusted in Keepers and Holders to guard the Secrets in seven briefcases against all harm, but when their stronghold is attacked and the secrets put in peril, the entire Order must face their greatest fear-an enemy who knows too much and is willing to kill to get what he wants.
Now, the Order's newest member, Caspar, must discover the truth of the Secrets before the enemy does, or risk losing everything.
Sometimes, books that are highly hyped for a long period of time before release make their way to the stands and deliver on the promise of excellence. Seven Secrets is absolutely one of those books. BOOM! Studios has been catching lightning in a bottle over the last year or so, with such incredible hits as Coda and Once and Future. Seven Secrets raises that bar even further with rapid world-building, dynamic characters, and fluid art that dances the line between East and West.
Tom Taylor is, of course, a known quantity by now. His storytelling prowess, mastery of voice and rhythm, and keen political mind have made him an unavoidable name in modern comics. Here we see all the gadgets in his toolbox at work as we are introduced to a seemingly global entity that seems to exist somewhere between Illuminati and counter-Illuminati, protecting an unknown seven secrets for unknown reasons from a mostly unknowing world. The world-building exercise undertaken by Taylor and illustrator Daniele di Nicuolo here is an interesting case study where very little is actually revealed yet through careful character work, the landscape of the series still seems to lay itself bare for the reader. It’s difficult to put words to just how remarkable the craftsmanship was here so I would offer Saga as a comparison, which most fans recognize for the high praise it is.
The artwork from di Nicuolo carries a large portion of the narrative. There are entire sequences where Taylor waxes poetic on the nature of secrets while all drama and action is left to di Nicuolo and the two feed off of each other with grace and beauty. There are stylistic elements at play as well that seem to serve the function of helping the book feel more globalized– it never settles into a single tradition or genre long enough to allow itself to create cliches. The colorwork by Walter Baiamonte and Katia Ranalli likewise fluctuates, from warm and vibrant to cold and calculated, helping to regulate mood and tone throughout the issue. The letterwork from Ed Dukeshire is sharp in this issue but more on that with issue #2.
I had the distinct pleasure of reading the first two issues, making it difficult to separate the experience of reading this sequentially. This first issue works very much on setup, establishing all the above mentioned elements while working slowly towards revealing the seeming lead character of Casper who does not appear fully in this book but rather as a retrospective narrator. If the first issue doesn’t fully hook you, give it one more issue. Trust me… you’ll be glad you did.
Seven Secrets #1 (@TomTaylorMade @imkota @WalterBaiamonte @KatiaRanalli @eDukeDW) is finally here and delivers on all of the hype. @boomstudios has a potential book of the year on their hands so get your copy... if you still can!
SPOILER FREE: Seven Secrets #1: “Three may keep a secret if two of them are dead…”
- Writing - 10/1010/10
- Storyline - 9.5/109.5/10
- Art - 10/1010/10
- Color - 10/1010/10
- Cover Art - 10/1010/10
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