Review: Merlin & Hector #1

A new series from Red 5 ComicsMerlin & Hector #1 is out now.

Before King Arthur, before Camelot, before Excalibur there was Merlin the swineherd. A young man of an unexceptional past who has never heard of magic, Merlin is looking at a life of hard work and small comfort, until his farm his attacked one night by rampaging monsters. Only local thief Hector believes him, but when the attacks increase it will be up to these two outcasts to save their village.

Writer – Rodolfo Santullo
Artist – Jok

I must confess that I really enjoy some of the Arthurian legends. It may be Once & Future from Boom! Studios, or some of the aspects in Zenescope Entertainment’s Grimm Fairy Tales Universe – when I was younger I read The Once and Future King and enjoyed Disney’s Sword In The Stone. In none of those, there are only hints as to Merlin and his past. Most are on him and Arthur and beyond.

Red 5 and Rodolfo Santullo have decided to look into that. What we get is a dark tale from dark times, with hints of magic and nasty things in the woods. Merlin is a swineherd, and he doesn’t seem to be a very good one at that – he is bound for greater things though and those are hinted at well throughout this first issue. His meeting of Hector works really well – setting up the relationship to come between the two, as well as giving us a view of the world as it is in these times.

The artwork from Jok suits the story and the time perfectly. England was supposed to be a dark, forbidding place, full of beasts and magic. The people are sufficiently grumpy and put down and it hits all the expectations you would expect from this story. There is some excellent colouring in here too.

The story, as a first issue, fits nicely in, giving a quick story and set-up for the arc to come. There are some good initial introductions for characters, and I’m sure they will be built on in future issues.

A good start, with a lot of promise from an interesting time.

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