Sea of Thieves #1
Writer: Jeremy Whitley
Artist: Rhoald Marcellius
Colorist: Sakti Yuwono
Letterer: Jaka Ady
Publisher: Titan Comics
Review by Cory Webber
Sea of Thieves #1 is a comic based on the upcoming game from Rare, available next week on Xbox One & PC. From what I can tell, this comic presents a story that takes place in the world they’ve created in the game, but does not crossover into any actual in-game story. While video game tie-ins aren’t usually great, Injustice by Tom Taylor notwithstanding, this puppy is written by Jeremy Whitely. Who is that, you might ask? Well, if you don’t know, I will wait while you go read Unstoppable Wasp.
Okay, now that you’ve got that under your belt, do you see why I am optimistic about Sea of Thieves #1? Whitley has a good grasp on writing diverse voices into a story. He can really make you laugh, but he is also able to tug at the ol’ heart strings. And his talent is on full display here.
Each of the main characters is nicely set up without sacrificing any plot momentum. I especially enjoyed Alessia St. Marina and Mele’s introductions. I also really liked how he wrote these pirate characters without them feeling like they were just stereotypical cardboard cutouts. The plot had some nice twists, including some double crossing and deception…I mean, this is a pirate story, after all. And he writes strong female leads with the best of them. Need proof? Did you not just read Unstoppable Wasp?! How dare you deceive me?! Fool me once, amirite?
Okay, I will wait for reals this time. Done? Did you just gloss over the pages? Don’t make me look like a fool again, please…
Okay, now that you really know how well Whitley has honed his craft, let’s move on to the art. The art in Sea of Thieves #1 is not my favorite part of the book, but that’s not a bad thing (see: my previous gushing on Whitley’s wordsmithing). In fact, Marcellius’ artwork is a great fit for this book. His art looks like it fits into the design used by the video game art crew without looking like a direct copy cat. The character work, in particular, really caught my eye. His facial expressions work so well to really nail down what the character is feeling and experiencing. All the characters, even the background ones, are easily distinguishable.
The sense of motion and pace are solid in this first issue. There’s one fight scene that was laid out really well. See, there is a “no guns” rule in the tavern where the fight breaks out, so the one fighter gets creative with near fatal results. Without spoiling anything, the two fighters are forced into an uneasy arrangement near the book’s end, which sets up the story nicely going forward.
Now, lest I forget, the colors by Yuwono are great. He uses a muted tone to help offset the cartoony feel of the art, giving a little more lifelike sense to the proceedings.
Verdict: Buy it.
While there is a little bit of hurried storytelling to get to the introduction of the actual crew, Sea of Thieves #1 does a good job of introducing a large cast of characters without making it feel like just a lineup. Whitley’s diverse character writing is on point; each character feels unique and organic to the story.