Thus far I have only had the pleasure of reading the first issue of Tarik so a full review is always difficult but like the professional I am (Fuck you, I am) I persevered .
Tarik is set in “the Kingdom of Altair” and follows the story of a young boy named Tarik, a member of the iron district. He is left orphaned as a boy when his mother, “Grania” and his father (unnamed), are killed by monsters in their own home. It appears that all hope is lost for the boy until; Lord Camotz intervenes and saves Tarik’s life.
Once the dust has settled, Camotz arranges for the boy to be left in the care of a couple from the market district. While Tarik did his best to fit in over the years, he always felt out of place, he claims the other members of the market district looked upon him with disdain.
From what I can gather at this point, it appears the “Kingdom of Altair” has a caste system in place meaning that depending on where you come from you may be thought less of by certain people. This point is hammered home when Tarik is set upon by three young “Nobles”, he makes short work of them but it is all for nought, as he is to be punished for “raising his hand against a noble”. He is again rescued mid punishment by Camotz, who tells him he must learn patience, if he is to become a “Magen” like his father (Magens being guardians of the Kingdom).
It’s a good starting off point for a story; it introduces a small number of characters and opens up the world in a small accessible way. This is good because it means the reader isn’t bombarded with new places, people, races or anything else that would make the story feel cluttered. It’s streamlined and a good introduction.
The characters are interesting enough. As it’s only a first issue there aren’t many characters introduced; this is not a problem by any means. It allows the readers to focus on the hero of the story and get to know him. While in later issues the world can open up and new characters can be introduced.
I found Tarik to be a sympathetic protagonist. A young boy who was just lost his home and his family, only to be placed in a new home where he will never fit in and is generally shunned by those around him. Despite all that has befallen him and the isolation forced upon him by the people around him, he still wants to protect his people.
Then we have Camotz the Lord of Altair, from the limited amount we see of him, he appears to be a benevolent ruler who cares for his people. He rushed into battle to save Tarik from the monsters that killed his family and gave him a new home and foster parents to keep him safe. Fair enough Tarik isn’t having the best time of it, but Camotz could have left him to rot. Again, it is hard to form an opinion on Camotz as a character as we only see him in small amounts, but I find him interesting, for one he is a different species and I’d love to know more about that. Also it feels like he has taken on the role of teacher with Tarik, guiding him to the path of “Magen”.
Towards the end of the issue there is another character introduced called “Raktic”. He is a “Magen” who fought alongside Tarik’s father. That’s all we know about him thus far but it seems he will become a central character.
The art for the comic is done by Sherwin Santiago and is quite visual interesting. It appears to have been influenced by Japanese manga, certain character features put you in mind of manga and the whole issue is done in black and white. I say influenced because it has a very western style to it which I found to be quite nice and I feel blends the best of both worlds. It really is an interesting style.
Overall I enjoyed “Tarik”, while a few things went unanswered I don’t feel cheated out of an ending, but rather enticed to read more and finish the story. I am curious about the three major characters that appeared in this issue, Tarik, Camotz and Raktic as a character. I would also like to learn more about the Magen, as well as the different species, class structure and the universe as a whole. Well worth a read.