Verse Books 1 & 2
Writer/Artist/Letterer: Sam Beck
A good story must have a few different elements from the jump. A solid plot, interesting characters, and good pacing are just a few. For Wonderbound’s Verse, readers are treated to a well-crafted story filled with layered relationships, complicated characters, and an exciting and engaging narrative that never stalls.
Written and illustrated by Sam Beck, the story centers on Fife, a young man looking to leave his quiet life to become an expert swordsmith. Along the way, he encounters a mysterious, amnesiac girl named Neitya. Not only does she have horns (and a possible kinship with the monstrous Vel terrorizing the region), but she also seems to know magic, a talent lost for generations.
Verse, Book One: The Broken Half is currently available and Book Two: The Second Gate is due out on June 28. These first two installments deftly set up a fantasy universe filled with magic, monsters, adventure, good guys, bad guys, and some characters stuck in between.
While the action is excellent and well-paced (and the mysteries intriguing), the real strength is the cast of characters. Besides Fife and Neitya, there is a diverse crew of fighters, scholars, villains, and more. For the good guys, their backgrounds and preferences are varied, but their goals and desires for their lives and land are what make them a found family. Each grows over the course of the story, and even when there are disagreements (and possible betrayals) it is their bond that prevails.
Verse offers readers of all ages plenty, but it is also an approachable, inclusive story for young readers looking for an adventure and characters to whom they can relate. As for Beck’s art, the style is perfect for a fantasy book, with each personality distinct from the next and gorgeously rendered establishing shots that make this world pulse with life.
Wonderbound is Vault Comics’ young reader imprint, and much like its parent company, the imprint is churning out top-notch genre content. Verse is another example of that to add to your collection.