Series: From Under Mountains #1
Published: October 4th 2016 by Image Comics
Genres: Graphic Novels, Fantasy
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From Under Mountains is a fantasy graphic novel starring a teenage princess who chafes against the role assigned to her by her gender. Lady Elena longs for adventure and to know more about the world beyond the palace, but her father Lord Crowe sees her as nothing but a pawn to be married off for political gain.
When tragedy strikes the royal family, Lord Crowe falls into a depression, and Lady Elena finds herself at the reigns of the kingdom. Because she’s been underestimated for so long though, she doesn’t have the background knowledge or the skills to understand the big picture, and there are many people who seek to take advantage of her. Meanwhile, a witch is conjuring spirits from beyond the grave that threaten to upset the balance.
I have so many feelings about this book:
- The art is gorgeous, and filled with vibrant autumn colors.
- At the same time, many of the characters look very similar, and it can be hard to tell them apart.
- Requires a lot of work on the part of the reader to piece together what’s going on.
- Sometimes characters’ flash green. It’s probably symbolic of something, but I’m not quite sure what.
- In terms of pacing, the story meanders like a lazy spring through a forest. It isn’t rushed in the least.
- I love seeing fantasy that isn’t just another permutation of medieval Europe.
- Witchcraft and otherworldly eldritch beings make me happy.
My general taste in comics runs toward high concept fantasy/horror with a lot of worldbuilding (or, as Mike tells me, I’m really just a comic book hipster). In general, I enjoyed From Under Mountains, despite its flaws. There were a lot of elements that I greatly enjoyed, especially the blend of witchcraft and statecraft. I also felt like this volume barely scratched the surface of a much larger world, and am eager to learn more about it.