Skybound X # 1 Celebrates Its 10th Anniversary With Glorious Gore

Skybound X # 1 is a large anthology issue that brings beloved Skybound characters past and present to life with four haunting and fun stories.

Skybound is known for producing comics that go the extra mile with quirky writing and even crazier art. In honor of Skybound’s 10th anniversary, the publisher is releasing Skybound X, a five-issue weekly anthology series filled with characters from Skybound’s past, present and future. Skybound X # 1 contains four stories – The Walking Dead spin-off “Rick Grimes 2000”, Clementine’s (Telltale’s The Walking Dead) before the release of his next graphic novel, the Ultramegainspired by the story “The True Story of Ultramega” and “Fezron Fezroff!”, a crazy and violent chapter in Manifest Destiny. Skybound X # 1 sees their heroes pitted against rampant weirdness and ruthlessness while providing plenty of humor.

Chapter One of “Rick Grimes 2000” is written by The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman and drawn by Ryan Ottley. The story shows Rick Grimes and others TWD characters cast as futuristic heroes pitted against zombies Y an alien invasion. It’s so gratuitous that even tough guy Grimes is shocked. While gratuitous violence is to be expected in The Walking Dead Universe, sometimes the brutality of the story goes against the seriousness of the story. His sudden, bloody deaths and his characters’ tearful responses to their losses are staggering, not tragic. The exaggerated facial expressions throughout fit the exaggerated tone of this reinvention; although it can also become ridiculous.

Related: The Walking Dead Teases Clementine’s Upcoming Trip

However, “Clementine Lives!” stays true to the original gloomy tone of The Walking Dead franchise. Serving as Clementine’s official debut in the world of comics, artist and writer Tillie Walden chooses a palette of monochromatic gray tones against a soft and deliberately unstable line. The quiet and moving story serves as Clementine’s farewell to her surrogate younger brother AJ. Walden’s temperamental work shows Clementine’s anguish, her tragic past, and pokes fun at the future of the characters in the Skybound family.

“Fezron Fezoff,” written by veteran television writer Chris Dingess and endorsed by artist Matthew Roberts and sign writer Pat Brosseau, stands out in the anthology for its goofy aesthetic and wacky tone. In the story, the heroic but incompetent bird Dawhogg is sent to retrieve stolen eggs from the royal family. While the writing in “Fezron Fezoff” is a lot of fun, balancing a lighthearted and violent tone, the highlight is Roberts’ raw art. Roberts channels Ren & Stimpy’s cartoonish but gruesome early 90s aesthetic. On the whole, the story is tacky, as animals are beaten into bloody pulp, but it does feel cheesy and grotesque indeed.

Related: The Walking Dead’s New World Begins With A Shocking Death

However, the most prominent story in the anthology is “The True Story of Ultramega.” Written and drawn by James Harren with colors by Dave Stewart, the Ultramega tale stands out for its organic and pictorial textures. The line of art is rough and its colors have a distinctly gritty, crayon-like consistency. This line pairs well with Stewart’s cool color palette of shades of purple, green and coral. It helps that the premise of Ultramega, involving a plague that turns people into Kaiju monsters fighting each other and leveling cities, is as dramatic as it is action-packed. It’s an imaginative take on the plague apocalypse genre, certainly stale.

General, Skybound X # 1 is good, bloody, unfocused fun. While this anthology is riddled with jarring tonal dissonances, it is a worthy display of what Skybound and its many creative artists and writers have to offer and a great way to celebrate their last ten years of action and humor.

Read on: Kirkman and Howard’s New Sci-Fi Series CODE Debuts in Skybound X # 5 (Exclusive)

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