Hey all, Sam here.
It’s kind of a special review type of day. Firstly, I don’t review a lot of single issue comics; it’s mostly graphic novels or manga volumes. Secondly, this is not one of my planned posts or reviews. One of our booth neighbors at Heroes Convention this weekend in Charlotte, North Carolina, is reprinting/re-releasing a comic series that started nearly 50 years ago, and he kindly offered a copy of the first installment to us simply because our booths are across the aisle from each other and we’ve talked a bit.
In talking to us about it he basically pitched it as sort of John Carter of Mars meets Guardians of the Galaxy meets Conan the Barbarian…and that sounded interesting enough to me, so we agreed to pick it up, and I went a step farther and said that I would read it and then post a review on my blog.
As a note, I am not being paid for this review, and all opinions as always, are my own. But again, I will state that we were given a copy of this first book for free. While I am grateful for free books and I do enjoy them, they do not influence my rating or review. Let’s dive on into the review.
For Mature Audiences Only. The first issue of the new Tandra. Written and illustrated by Hanther, cover by Skoot Starnes, pages by Anton Polkhovskyi. Edited by Bryan Petty. Published by Hanthercraft Publications. June 7, 2022
Rating: 3.5 stars
It is stated in the editor’s note at the very beginning that this was chosen to be the first installment of the re-release, even though it is not the first book in the series. This is because this one includes a recap of previous events and gives a basic overview of the characters and the world.
My husband and I both agree that it mostly reads like that minute or two recap you get at the beginning of a TV season or the end of a TV season, when they’re trying to go over everything that happened in the course of the show so far or the season so far. You know, when you get little snippets and scenes that don’t make a whole lot of sense together unless you’ve already watched what has happened before? So it felt like it jumped around a little bit and was a little choppy.
That being said, what was included was enough to be interesting. Basically we follow a guy from Earth who meets a beautiful woman and then when she is taken away by a warrior type individual, he chases after her and basically accidentally ends up in another world, Tandra. The woman disappears on an airship and the guy tries to make the best of his situation. Here’s where the jumping around and choppiness comes into play. We jump forward a little bit and then check in on the man and how he’s dealing with life on this other world. We see him making friends and allies and he’s apparently with a different woman now. And the jumping continues with a “one year later” and a “two year later,” where we see him get an air ship and take on profitable jobs and eventually establish his own business.
I want to know how all of these people enter our main guy’s life. I want to see how things happened with this new lady….especially when, predictably, the original lady shows back up again towards the end of this issue. Because, oh boy, there are some fun (yet predictable) revelations and twists happening in this one.
Oh, and I should talk about the art. Originally this was released in black and white. The art is still the same as the original release; so is the writing. What has changed is that color has been added to the interior, and then new covers have been created. Speaking of, I do feel like the cover is missing like a series logo or something that stands out to make it clear that this is a Tandra comic, but maybe that will come in time. Anyway, so this definitely has some 1970s writing and character design (hair style and clothing style) to it. Also, again, this is intended for mature audiences. There is a bit of nudity involved.
Overall though, this was a solid first installment. While I have questions and want to know more about the world and the characters and the story arc so far, at least I can say that I’m intrigued enough to want to know more. I’m hoping the future re-releases will start filling in some of the information gaps.
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If this sounds like something you might be interested in, you can pick up your own copy through some comic stores, but also through the Hanthercraft Website.