Captain Swing and the Electrical Pirates of Cindery Island #1: A Very Short Review

Steampunk makes it into the comics!  Noted comic scripter Warren Ellis brings us this first issue of a four-part story set in London of the 1830s.  He has a very nice spin on technology here — the sight of a boat propelled by electric oars across the sky is absolutely thrilling.  The art, by Raulo Caceres, evokes a grimy, crorrupt London full of Dickensian gloom.  Ellis has also selected a rather different storytelling style, alternating pages of comic panels with text pages to dump the data that help you figure out what’s going on — a no no in prose fiction, but you can get away with more in the comics as long as it looks right.

What this first issue is unfortunately a little light on is plot and character.  There is nobody moving across this evocative backdrop or wielding this interesting tech that is exciting or memorable.  We can hope that this will be ameliorated in the next issue or so.  The Captain Swing of the title has not yet really been clearly delineated, and we haven’t got to Cindery Island yet!

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About Brenda Clough

Brenda W. Clough spent much of her childhood overseas, courtesy of the U.S. government. Her first fantasy novel, The Crystal Crown, was published by DAW in 1984. She has also written The Dragon of Mishbil (1985), The Realm Beneath (1986), and The Name of the Sun (1988). Her children’s novel, An Impossumble Summer (1992), is set in her own house in Virginia, where she lives in a cottage at the edge of a forest. Her novel How Like a God, available from BVC, was published by Tor Books in 1997, and a sequel, Doors of Death and Life, was published in May 2000. Her latest novels from Book View Cafe include Revise the World (2009) and Speak to Our Desires. Her novel A Most Dangerous Woman is being serialized by Serial Box. Her novel The River Twice is newly available from BVC.

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