Indie Comic Book Review – The Ether #1

Our pal Kit reviews comics for us! This is one of those reviews.

Warning: minor spoilers.

“I don’t want you getting hurt” Rubi

Time for another Indie review. This week I picked up The Ether, a new comic released recently putting a spin on a classic vigilante tale. The comic was brought to us by:

  • Writer – Matt Garvey
  • Artist – Dizevez

Although this comic has a high quality front cover, what really caught my attention to begin with was the variant cover on the second page. It’s a playful send up and tribute to classic comic book art styles. The other key feature is the Question/Rorschach style mask, covered by a map in place of a weird pattern of blank expression. Part of me may have thought of EastEnders when I first saw this, but it does show the masked vigilantes used for inspiration for The Ether. As with many vigilante stories this issue deals with heavy themes at times within the issue.

As for the plot, we’re introduced to a familiar tale – a badass vigilante who doesn’t play by the rules but gets results, a secret identity and a tenuous relationship with the cops. Don’t let this familiarity put you off. The format provides a foundation for an unexpectedly deep level of characterisation, with character interactions being the priority during the early parts of the comic. As the story develops unique twists are introduced which bring the story to life, providing a unique spin of the familiar tale. It also plays to the strength of the medium, with the visual nature of the comic communicating the twist without the features of say a television to potentially give the game away beforehand.

I was very impressed with the art in this issue. Dizevez’s Ether carries a level of definition which the other characters lack. The eye is always drawn to the mask and the intricate detail of is a stark contrast to many of the other characters whose features are often less set. There’s a particularly powerful scene where we see the Ether’s true self shine through where Dizevez’s clearly defined art creates a powerful and lonely moment in the issue.

But I have to ask, can Dizevez draw hands? As I’ve already said the art is of a very high standard in this issue. Hands are drawn in a wide variety of situations, positions, actions and communicate powerful emotions when need be throughout conversations. 9.5/10 for hand drawing skills!

Final Verdict

I was a little apprehensive when I first opened this issue, unsure if it was going to offer anything I hadn’t seen before. But it certainly did, using the familiar setting to pursue themes too often overlooked within the comic book industry.

You can pick up The Ether #1 digitally here!


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