After two amazingly successful Kickstarters from creator Jon Laight I take a look at the first issues of Brethren Born.
The comic takes place in three distinct timelines with 1963, 1994 & 2015 all featuring across these issues to build up a tangible history for Jon’s characters to exist in. A story of government plots, superpowers and cover ups with a combination of X-Files meets X-Men and that first issue sets the groundwork for what’s to come as Philip Knibbs lets his free-flowing style gain traction for the central superpowered character Newton as he tackles captivity and a daily regime of tests & interrogations. This brings the development of some key relationships for our central character but they are short-lived as we see the ultimate sacrifice pave the way for his escape and exposure to the wider world with the help of Dr Bradshaw.
While that first issue resides firmly in1994 the second issues gives us the backstory of the project that gave birth to the government program and Newton himself. Newton’s powers are now fully under his control and the brief glimpses of his plan is filtered through flashbacks that show the origins of the program that kept him captive and the steps taken by those in charge to get where they are now.
The combination of three timelines is a slick balancing act for Jon to manage but he does it with real style as they crossover seamlessly to blend past & present and emphasize a history that has a significant sense of depth to it. Both issues are matched by the artwork of Philip Knibbs and while the first issue rests on his shoulders alone, it’s more muted tones suit as an introduction to the world of Brethren Born. The second issue sees inker Luca Cicchitti, colourist Santiago Ramos & letterer Rob Jones join the mix and the art has a significant sense of energy about it as it almost crackles with static on the page. The step up in artwork matches the increased quality in script from Jon and the potential across these first two issues makes this a strong contender for “hidden gem” in the indie world. Subtle and under-rated as a result – it’s one that deserves a wider audience and hopefully it’ll get that.
You can also catch up with Jon and the Close 2 Immortality team at London’s MCM this coming weekend (27th-29th May)