Chimera #1 Review: Gift of a Curse

Chimera #1 reviewed by Jerome June 9, 2021

Cover Artist/s:

Superpowers can be treated as a gift or a curse, depending on which fictional character you ask. Ask the question from Charles Xavier or Max Eisenhardt, and they’ll tell you it’s a gift. Ask the Morlocks and it’s a curse.

Chimera #1 is a story of a curse - a plague on a woman’s life. Her abilities not only dehumanised her, but also made her a tool for a war of two shadowy organisations hell-bent on using her for their purposes.

The Story and Writing of Chimera: Reading A Mystery Thriller

Chimera #1 is an Australian indie comics published by Reverie Publications. The story is written by Haydn Spurrell and drawn by Marc Oliver, with letters from Darren Close.

Chimera follows the life of Ellie, a young girl plagued by dreams about people her entire life. These dreams are nothing to scoff at, as they are always lifelike, even happening at some point.

As she tries to get rid of her dreams, she unknowingly gets multiple forces in the shadows move and take her away for themselves.

The story of Chimera is a unique take on mystery thriller, if it can really be classified as such. The writing of Chimera is quite crisp, with the comic book telling its tale right on the button. The storytelling is like a tightly run ship, moving straight and true to its tale.

Much of the writing focuses on the mental anguish that Ellie received from the entire debacle. It’s easy to see why seeing other people’s lives can be disturbing, especially if these dreams happen every day since your childhood. 

Haydn worked the character drama cleanly, with no lack of clarity at all. Whilst I’m not sure what his intent is, I can surmise that he wanted the story to be easy to understand. Even then, the devil can be in the details.

Much of the story’s subtext hints at the phenomenon that Ellie experiences. From what it shows, Ellie is experiencing what can only be precognitive dreaming. These precognitive dreams seem to look random, with no clear theme or people followed.

This mystery is the only issue I had with the story, as they could have made it clearer for the average audience. The importance of her powers in how she’s treated in the entire story is undermined by its lack of obviousness.

Sure, the existence of her abilities shouldn’t be spoonfed to the readers. Regardless, more hints could have made the story easier to digest.

The Art of Chimera #1: More Inks, More Lines

The art of Chimera #1 is one of the better styles I’ve seen in a while. Marc Oliver uses a solid, realistic art style that offers zero frills. It lacks the exaggerated lines that I find some titles have, which makes it easy to read.

Every panel makes sense, with every page running between 5 to 6 panels per page. This makes the pace feel slow, and it works nicely for the level of drama they are trying to portray. Even then, there are a few things that the book can improve on.

For starters, the colour work and shading could be better. The shading style they use does not make the pencils pop. The inking is quite thin too, making the panels feel like they’re part of some sort of flash game from the early 2000s.

The action is well-done and the motion lines are solid. Even then, inking could make these more prominent. The movements of the characters feel a little stiffer than what you would expect from a title such as Chimera.

Should You Read Chimera #1?

Should you read Chimera #1? The answer is yes, and it has a ton of potential to become better too. There are more stories to tell, and I know Haydn already finished #2 and #3 as I speak. Haydn and his team should be able to flesh out more of the story there.

For now, Chimera #1 is a solid title worthy of praise for having quite a chunk of potential.

Rating: 4/5

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Jerome is the nerd you're looking for - loves comic books, video games, and all things tech. He writes and does digital marketing on the side, apart from being a full-time dog dad of two hyperactive pooches.

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