Written by Kimberly Gaines
Art by Sean Dillion
Published by GrubMachine Comics
I’m always fascinated by the concept of supernatural stories that center around teenagers and the ways in which they interact and navigate the things that go bump in the night. From Stranger Things to IT and even the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, the concept of the ragtag group of kids that band together to combat the forces of darkness is nothing new to pop culture. These stories interest and captivate us, stealing our attention and mesmerizing us.
As an avid fan of this type of story, I was pretty hype when I have presented the opportunity to review the very first issue of Kimberly Gaines’s Eventide #1. I’m a sucker for a supernatural story and an even bigger sucker for a supernatural story that centers on the adventures of highschoolers.
Something lurking in the subway
The story opens on a seemingly normal subway platform where we see a young woman step off the train. Interestingly enough when she steps off the train the only people in the entire station are her and a homeless man who comes up behind her. After threatening the man and seemingly making him go away the young woman hears a loud noise behind her only to discover much to her surprise that a shadow monster is now where the homeless man once was. The young lady races away, screaming for help, trying to get out of the subway. However, as expected the shadow creature is faster and it catches her on the steps of the subway station and it envelopes her completely like something straight out of a horror movie. Though its pretty short this is actually my favorite scene in the entire comic. The way the scene plays out across the first few pages is perfect and it feels like storyboards for a cartoon or an anime. The entire scene in many ways feels like the opening of an anime.
A Day in the life of Connor Wood
Immediately after the opening scene, we are introduced to the main character of the comic, Connor Wood. The first impression of Connor is that of any person his age, he’s pretty lax and loves playing his music extremely loud much to the dismay of his guardian. We learn that Connor is an orphan who is currently staying in some sort of foster or group home. We get a lot of exposition about Connor, his life, and the people within his life at this point and if anything the way it’s handled is a little off. I prefer when stories present exposition naturally and it feels like someone in the story is just stating something naturally rather than feeling like its being expressed just to fill in the audience.
When Connor gets to the bus stop we are introduced to his best friend and potentially my favorite character in the series so far, Rose Chung. Rose is the type of character who seems like she’s pretty intelligent and like she’s the brains of her and Connor’s friendship. She seems like she is the voice of logic, reason, and common sense in the friendship. Rose kind of reminded me or Michelle of Spiderman Homecoming kind of how Connor put me in the mind of Peter Parker. Of all the characters in the comic Rose is the one that I’m most interested in following through to the end just to see how things progress for her.
Later in the book, we meet Connor’s crush Kori Evans and his bully Ethan Thomas. Ethan seems to be the stereotypical Jack and in stereotypical fashion, he goes after Connor unprovoked. The altercation between the two of them lands them both in detention. Ethan is pretty hot-headed and definitely seems to enjoy picking on smaller people which is definitely the case for Connor.
The Return of the Shadow Monster
The book gets pretty interesting after Connor leaves detention and finds himself on the exact same subway platform where the shadow monster attacked the young woman. It’s here that, while alone, Connor discovers the young woman from earlier in the issue. She seems to be distraught and Connor does what any logical person would do if a sickly young woman wandered out of an empty subway platform, he calls the police. Before the police can even arrive Connor and the young woman are attacked by the same shadow monster that took her in the first place. Then out of nowhere appears a dragon that seems as if it’s defending Connor and acting as his guardian.
Overall the series is extremely fun and reminds me of Spiderman Homecoming meets The Breakfast Club. The art for the series is full of bold colors and thick lines that reminds me of a cartoon, but for this story, it works perfectly. The comic as a whole reminds me of an anime and even based just on the first issue it seems like it would make a fantastic cartoon. The cast of characters is pretty diverse and full of personality and what seems like a few intentional stereotypes in terms of character archetypes. I was delightfully surprised when I opened the book for the first time and began to notice so many brown characters taking the center stage and not just populating the background. By the time I reached the last page of Eventide I was clamoring for more and that’s what I look for in a comic.
Overall Eventide is a great story that seems like it has a lot of potential to be even greater as a continues. The first issue is a firm 8.5 out of 10 shadow monsters and I absolutely can’t wait for issue 2.