Series: Mirror #1
Published: September 20th 2016 by Image Comics
Genres: Graphic Novels
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Mirror: The Mountain is a graphic novel created by Emma Rios and illustrated by Hwei Lim. The story set on an asteroid that has been terraformed by the mage scientists of Synchronia. When the mage scientists sent down animals as test subjects, the sentient asteroid gifted those animals with human-like capabilities.
Mirror: The Mountain starts out as a story of colonialism and slavery. The animals are now able to advocate for their own wants and needs, and they don’t want to be test subjects. They don’t want to be second class to the mages. They want freedom, and to be able to determine their own destiny. And so some of the animals escape, and begin an uprising.
Meanwhile, the sentient asteroid realizes that it has made a mistake. It is tired of all of the problems that humans have caused, and wants to wipe out all life and start with a clean slate. This upends the conflict between the humans and the animals, as now the two groups need to cooperate to ensure survival, and members of each group start to realize how interconnected and similar they really are.
The artwork is comprised of pastel watercolors that manage to capture the essence of each of the characters, showing not just what they look like but what’s in their soul. It is truly breathtaking, and gave the story an ethereal quality.
When I started reading the book, I expected to quickly be able to identify good guys and bad guys, as in most comics, but Mirror: The Mountain is different. The characters are complex, and nobody is perfect, but nobody is worthy of hatred either. There are cultural and social dynamics at work, and characters who I thought were the antagonists weren’t really in the end. And the entire story feels like a small glimpse of a much larger universe that has plenty of issues of its own.
Mirror: The Mountain was beautiful and dreamlike, and I’d highly recommend it.