Writer : Scott Weldon
Artist: Dino Agor
Colorist: Frederick Allison Jr.
Design Assistant/Assistant Editor/Cover Colors: Dejon Weldon
Review By: Fernando Lyons
Harland Buck: Freesword follows the adventures of Harland Buck, a mercenary for hire, who takes a job guarding a caravan, carrying precious cargo. Along the way to deliver the cargo to another town, Harland is engaged in conversation by a professional warrior of Alor'Vyr, or 'Realmsword', named Kendall. The real adventure begins when their wagon breaks loose on the edge of a steep cliff, sending Kendall off the cliff. Harland Buck, leaps off of the wagon in order to save his newfound travel companion, and they both end up tumbling down the cliff. Kendall gets injured, during the fall, however, the caravan does not stop, leaving the Harland and Kendall to fend for themselves against the elements, and whatever other dangers await them in the frozen wilderness.
The story is literally linear, as it focuses wholly on the two aforementioned characters, as they continue on their journey to their original destination, after falling off the trail. However, this comic does an excellent job of doing a couple of things that many independent comic books, that I have read lately, fail to do. That is to tell an interesting and easy to follow story, and to develop interesting characters that a reader can relate to, or generate a strong emotion toward. Underneath the title character, Harland's hardened and battle scarred exterior, is a kind man, who risks his own well-being to assist a man whom he just met. Kendall is a young, somewhat naive man, whose motivation after the accident, is simply to survive in order to make it home to his wife and daughter. The bond between the two survivors grows as the story progresses, and I found myself fully vested in their developing relationship and joint fate.
While issue number one doesn't contain a main antagonist, or a lot of the flashy, over-the-top action scenes contained in some other comics, it is no less entertaining to read. Harland and Kendall encounter their fair share of perils, as they battle mother nature, and a pack of hungry wolf-like creatures, called 'canix'. Inexplicably, Harland choses not to draw his sword, the Marat Blade, to fend off the creatures. There is a mystery surrounding his decision to always keep the Marat Blade sheathed, which I am sure will be explained in future issues. While there is a 'Cyclopedia' to explain the world of Harland buck, and some general terms used throughout the book, I wish that the world would have been fleshed out in more detail, through in-story dialogue, and captions.
The Harland Buck: Freesword issue number one is a straight forward, easy-to-read, comic book, that finds a way to be interesting, entertaining, and engaging. While not over the top, the artwork is very solid, and it perfectly complements the story that is being told. This series can go in a number of different directions from this point, and I am looking forward to going along for the journey.
+ Easy Read, Engaging, Interesting Characters, Art Direction
- Under-Developed World