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    Johnston and Mitten’s “Umbral” Gets an Interesting Teaser [Preview]

    By | August 13th, 2013
    Posted in Previews | 2 Comments

    When first we heard about this project, we knew very little — that it was “eyes only” and it was coming the Fall. Then we had a name at Image Expo: “Umbral.”

    Today? Today we have your very first look at “Umbral,” a new fantasy series from Antony Johnston and Chris Mitten. You may remember them from such hit comic series as “Wasteland” over at Oni Press, which Mitten departed with issue #31 before the series “relaunched” (in a manner of speaking). Now the duo have reunited for a new book, and let me tell you: it looks like something ferociously awesome.

    But don’t take my word for it. Take a look at this specially cut promo made just for you (yes, you):

    What is “Umbral” you may ask? Well, umbral itself is derived from the Latin umbra, meaning “shadow,” and as you can see from the trailer above, it would appear that something lurks within the shadows of the series — perhaps with the purpose of antagonizing the protagonists. Not too much is known here beyond what we see above, but given that this is a “dark fantasy” series, I’d wager shadows are a-plenty.

    The teaser trailer strip gives you a good feel for the upcoming series, and for my money I’d say it’s a shoe-in for a buy. Mitten and Johnston did great work on the supremely underrated “Wasteland” series so it’s nice to see them teaming up again, and to do a fantasy series is pretty exciting to boot. Mitten is an artist who I don’t think gets enough credit or recognition, especially given some of the dark, stylistic and downright cool things he drew in the pages of “Wasteland.”

    John Rauch gives the book a nice palette as well, with cooler neon colors that already give me remembrances of things like “Doctor Strange Season One” — which may not be on purpose, but certainly work in this books favor. Given “Wastleand’s” black and white style, it’s nice to see Mitten’s work pop with some added tones. I’ve seen Rauch’s work most recently in “Invincible,” but I like the choices done here a bit more.

    And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Thomas Mauer’s excellent lettering choices here that already give the book and few characters we see a distinct tone. The distinctions between voices and thoughts go a long way to establishing a bit about the series, particularly in terms of the type of characters we can expect to see — which you may take for granted a bit, but it’s all Mauer’s style that makes it work in this teaser.

    But we’ll save more in-depth thoughts on the matter for a review. I’m just saying it’s a pretty sweet team for this book, is all.

    Here’s some more information on the book, care of the press release Johnston sent alongside the trailer strip:

    UMBRAL is a new dark fantasy series from Antony Johnston and Christopher Mitten, creators of the sci-fi epic WASTELAND.

    Written by ANTONY JOHNSTON (DEAD SPACE, DAREDEVIL)
    Drawn by CHRISTOPHER MITTEN (BATMAN, CRIMINAL MACABRE)
    Colors by JOHN RAUCH (INVINCIBLE, BURN THE ORPHANAGE)
    Letters by THOMAS MAUER (STARSHIP TROOPERS, BAD DOG)

    UMBRAL #1 ships NOVEMBER 13

    Update: And the solicit text, care of Comic Book Resources:

    “THE DAY DAWNED TWICE” – A NEW DARK FANTASY FROM THE CREATORS OF WASTELAND! The young thief called Rascal witnesses the horrific murder of the royal family — now the world’s dark legends will be relived, and only Rascal even knows it’s happening!

    Master worldbuilder ANTONY JOHNSTON (Dead Space, Daredevil) and his Wasteland co-creator CHRISTOPHER MITTEN (Batman, Criminal Macabre) bring you a new fantasy world rich in mythology, history, and blood! Extra-long first issue for the regular price of $2.99!

    Look for the book in November. You’re probably going to want it.


    Matthew Meylikhov

    Once upon a time, Matthew Meylikhov became the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Multiversity Comics, where he was known for his beard and fondness for cats. Then he became only one of those things. Now, if you listen really carefully at night, you may still hear from whispers on the wind a faint voice saying, "X-Men Origins: Wolverine is not as bad as everyone says it issss."

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    • vjj

      It looks beautiful already. I hope it eventually gets an oversized hardcover omnibus edition. (Too soon?)

      I hope this series does well. Marvel and DC, imtco(in my totally correct opinion), have gone down the toilet. Marvel just does one event after another – with the end of previous event leading into the next event. And DC is just plain incompetent – they’ve chased off most of their talented writers.

      • Haha, I like that you immediately tie this around to why Marvel and DC suck 🙂

        But I don’t disagree — the book does look very beautiful from this little snippet. I’ve not seen more than this but I’m still quite excited.