July 19, 2024

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Comic Review: White Sand Volume 1

Fantasy author Brandon Sanderson gets into the world of comics with this fantasy series.

Brandon Sanderson is a well-established and well-known fantasy author.  Why not try his hand at comics?  I don’t know if he has or hasn’t before, but he does have a series called White Sand from Dynamite Entertainment.  Can he pull it off?

Um, not particularly, but he only really plotted the book.  It does follow the standard I’ve seen in the two series of Sanderson’s that I am aware of, set in a world where a type of magic comes from a rather mundane thing.  I’ve seen him do it with ingested metals, and one of his best known series involves sorcerers gaining power from storms.  In White Sand, magic comes from…sand.  Yes, sand.  The Sand Masters can manipulate sand to perform varying levels of impressive tasks, though there is a drawback that can make the Sand Masters vulnerable.  One stubborn young man, Kenton, is the youngest son of the current head of the Sand Masters, and though Kenton possesses very little power for himself, he insists on taking harder tests and challenges than his father believes him capable of.  Yes, Kenton may be determined, but his father won’t get out of his way.

Through a series of circumstances I won’t get into here, Kenton finds himself in a position of power in his guild or profession.  And that by itself could make for a fun series, but then there are some problems in the form of Sanderson introducing more characters with more problems, and while Kenton acts as a fine explainer to the reader, detailing what’s really going on in a natural way, the other characters are more vaguely defined.  Factor in as well that while Sanderson’s plot may be going somewhere, Rik Hoskin’s script seems rather generic and Julius Gopez’s artwork is rather average.  The panels on the individual pages are drawn at weird angles, but that sometimes makes the story harder to follow.  Ultimately, it seemed like a rather average fantasy story.  I won’t be continuing with it.  7 out of 10 surprise firearms.