In a market full of superheroes, zombies, and assorted horrors, a sci-fi/fantasy story might carry some of the highest value. Good fantasy comics are dynamite, out-of-this-world tales while the opposite end of the spectrum often crashes and burns... quickly and often. Then there are stories like Dark Horse's Rangers of the Divide, stories that hover right around the middle without ascending to the top or falling to pieces.
In the first issue, a premise is reintroduced readers have seen time and time again—two nations are at war, and a haphazard group of protectors are forced to patrol the world between worlds in an attempt to provide peace for all, for better or for worse. The plot here by itself isn't something that breaks the mold, but it's combined with stellar art, something that certainly elevates it.
With the art also comes a beautifully expansive world with gorgeous landscapes and superb character designs. In this story, the aforementioned protectors are each assigned a dragon—beasts that come in all shapes and sizes in this world. In fact, they're called dragons in the story, but they look more like lizards or something ripped straight from the world of Pokémon. While fantasy, this story isn't just your average sword and sorcery plot. The tone of the comic lends itself more to a sci-fi feel as compared to wizardry, and the dragon designs are indicative of that.
It should be noted Megan Huang is doing nearly every job on this book, from writing the script to layouts, line art, colors, and letters. Some things, like the sensational artwork, work exceptionally well while others could use additional polishing. With a familiar premise, there's nothing in the plot or script that sets Rangers apart from anything readers have seen before. While a new world is clearly established, there's nothing in the dialogue or framing that explores it. That leaves us with the artwork and character designs to take us around this particular universe, and that only goes so far.
Rangers of the Divide #1 is an earnest start to the story at hand. While the script falters at times, the art is more than enough to carry the first issue to satisfactory heights. Huang introduces a gorgeous world that deserves to be explored more by the mix of heroes leading the story.
Published by Dark Horse Comics0comments
On May 19, 2021
Created by Megan Huang