Antioch #1 Review: Image's Latest Is a World-Building Wonder

When it comes to the land of creator-owned comics, it seems as if characters are something of the past. For whatever reason, creators have shifted to long titles that may or may not accurately describe the story within. Then comes along a team led by Patrick Kindlon and Marco Ferrari, looking to upset the status quo and give fans a taste of yesteryear while also striving to push the genre forward. Their work began with Frontiersman last year and now, it continues in Antioch #1.

From the cover-on, it's all-too-easy to compare this title to the Image titles of 30 years ago. Maybe it's a lead character that hates nothing more than wearing a shirt or an antagonist with a hilariously large axe that most supervillains would have a hard time swinging. Still, this debut issue manages to set itself a solid foundation upon which to build in the coming months.

There's a glorified cameo from the aforementioned Frontiersman, who gets a slight arc here but the spotlight belongs to the eponymous king Antioch, and rightfully so. Firmly establishing a character as part of a world in a single comic issue is no easy feat, yet Kindlon manages to excel at that here. With just two dozen pages to get fans invested, a well-paced script puts just the right amount of effort into character development or, at the very least, just enough to get fans invested in the character.

The line-art of Ferrari echoes the works of Riley Rossmo or Matias Bergara with work simultaneously both of this world and unique enough to inject fantastical wonder into the tale at hand. There's a sense of explosiveness in Ferrari's perspectives, creating a sense of immense energy with every page turn. Coupled with the brisk script, Antioch #1 is about as energized as funny books come.

The best work of the issue, which is saying a lot, isn't within the sequential art at all but instead, an after-issue ode from Kindlon. Revealing his dedication for the story, the passionate scribe doubles down on his dedication to title character comics and returning the landscape of indie comics to the types of stories that gave infinite characters life throughout recent years.

Antioch #1 is a formidable debut issue in a new comics world full of promise. While the messaging and themes are laid on a bit too thick at times—so much so, you may wonder if this is a promotional comic released by Greenpeace at times—the script and art combine for a well-rounded launching point. It's fast and energetic, there's no denying that. 

Published by Image Comics

On September 7, 2022

Written by Patrick Kindlon

Art by Marco Ferrari

Letters by Jim Capmbell

Cover by Marco Ferrari