We were recently contacted by @D2thaMFC on Twitter to review a new comic series. This series is called Once Upon A Time In Xanatopia and currently has 4 issues available to read.
I will break down my review into 5 categories and run through each section and why I rated each part the way I did.
Story – 9.5/10
I really enjoyed the story for this run. My only issue, and it’s a minor issue is it did take me a few pages to fully understand the background of the series. This however is fixed when you continue to read on which I am grateful for. The story focuses on Nora and her adventure, this adventure focuses on her having to kill monsters. These monsters are basically messing up a generator field which is run by wizards. It’s all a bit in the air but it’s brilliant the way the writers make this work.
There is a huge change within the story in issue 2 that completely blew me away that involves “Cherry”. The comic spent time introducing you to Cherry and his background, only for the adventure to take a huge twist. I won’t spoil this as it was at that exact moment I became completely glued to my screen.
After the twist, Nora becomes so lost in herself that she receives a text which in turn makes her situation even worse as she’s introduced to Danny on another adventure, where she just goes ballistic in destroying further monsters before she finds herself in front of the Sacred Mother. An incredible series that left on a cliffhanger. As a reviewer and for the first time being introduced to the series, I am blown away.
The story has a very strong feeling to the Final Fantasy games, especially with Nora’s huge sword.
Graphics – 10/10
There are 3 things I absolutely loved about the graphics. I’ll explain both of them in 2 separate sections.
1. The black and white main features on the strips were so well done. It added this element of darkness surrounding the story, this was blended with color on certain graphics to further implement a level of feeling within the pictures. It’s something I’ve never really personally seen be pulled off this well.
2. The little cartoon effects on some of the strips were amazing. I loved that they pull you away from the realism of what was going on and just give you a strip or two of this. Plus, the characters just look adorable.
3. Clear pictures. I’ve read a few comics before where they’re poorly drawn or designed to the point where you can’t make out what’s going on. That’s not the case in this series. You can see exactly what’s going on and the attention to detail is perfect.
Entertainment – 10/10
I was thoroughly entertained throughout. There was just one section in the 4th issue where I didn’t get what was going on for a moment. Again though, the writers have a good job of making sure that you understand the main plot points which make up for this.
As mentioned in the story, it did take me a few strips to get what was going on but this was quickly evaded and didn’t take away any of the entertainment value. I have already recommended that a few of my friends take a further look into this series as it is that good. There’s only been a handful of comics that have truly blown me away during an issue but issue 2 is everything. It really did just set the tone for the rest of this series. It makes me believe that the writers have those beautiful surprises up their sleeves to the point where it makes you lose your head, pun intended.
Time – 10/10
It took me around 30-35 minutes to fully read the four issues the first time. I spent just over an hour on the series, going back and having full looks at the graphics and other little details I may have missed. I can safely say that none of my time was wasted reading this run-through. It may not be for everyone due to the setting but if you’re a fan of Final Fantasy or fantasy RPG-type games then you’ll really love this.
I’m already excited for the next run of the comic.
Characters – 9/10
The main character is Nora, PALADIN 55187. She’s an amputee that was raised in an orphanage run by Nuns. We have other characters such as her friend, Cherry who was an absolute delight in the series. There are other side characters such as Anne, Cherry’s wife, and his daughter. We also have the Sacred Mother, Danny, and the gentleman at the end.
I came away with 2 questions. Who was the guy in the final issue? At the time of reading, I didn’t care because he just destroyed Nora, and made it look easy whilst doing so. Because of that, he gets a pass.
The other question is who was Danny and what’s his deal with all of this?
However, despite coming away with those 2 questions, the characters were brilliantly designed and very well written. I do need more of Nora though. She would be brilliant in a video game or an animated TV series. She’s incredibly intriguing.
This is a very well-written story with some phenomenal graphics. For the first four issues in this run, it’s clear that the people who created this comic have some bright futures ahead of them. I usually only read Marvel or DC comics due to familiarity but this series edges a lot of the comic books in those franchises. A huge well done to the entire team.
To read this fantastic series, you can do so for free by clicking here.
Writer: DC Horn
Editor: Arundhati Subhedar
Letter: David Swanson
Issue 1 Artwork: Miriam Nassereddine
Issue 2 Artwork: David Swanson
Issue 3 Artwork: David Swanson
Issue 4 Artwork: Gianmaria Orlandi
Chibi Art: Roberta Rodrigues M De C
Featuring Covers & Variant Covers: David Swanson, Miriam Nassereddine, Gianmaria Orlandi, Brendan Albetski, Mugitchi, Roselinath, Austin Blevins, Ari Dynamics