Lantern City #1

LanternCity_001_A_MainWriter: Paul Jenkins & Matthew Daley
Artist: Carlos Magno
Release Date: May 13, 2015
Publisher: Archaia
Source: BOOM! Studios DRC
Genre(s): Steampunk

Rating: ?????
Review Spoilers:  Low

Lantern City is one of those series that almost seems tailor fit to suit my interests. It just takes so many of the things I like and weaves them together into a solid, compelling story with strong Steampunk themes. Having little experience with the genre, I wasn’t entirely sure how I would like Lantern City. But it’s those other universal themes that pop up throughout – family, perseverance, and rebellion – that really pull me in.

What can I say?

I’m a sucker for sci-fi/fantasy resistance movements. I grew up on Star Wars!

And the world in which Lantern City is set is a world where change needs to happen. Our main character, Sander, is a working-class man struggling to survive in a society divided into three classes: those who have nothing, the guards, and the Greys. Everyone toils to keep the city running within it’s impenetrable walls and to serve the Grey family. Unlike many people who are stuck working in dark, cramped, and dangerous quarters, Sander works in harvesting. He lives by a simple mantra: “Things could always be worse.”

His brother-in-law disagrees. After Sander finds himself and his family unfairly punished by the powers that be, he finally starts to come around. But simply attending a rally becomes so much more and it sets the stage for what could honestly be a really fantastic arc.

Now, as much as I liked this first issue the world building was a little lacking. While the artwork was fantastic and the depiction of Lantern City very real and gritty, it doesn’t go much further than all that. We’re told little tidbits but not shown much. How did society really end up like this? Who exactly are the Greys? I’m sure we’ll learn more as things go along (especially since Sander’s vantage point on this society will be changing drastically) so I guess that’s not an entirely fair criticism. But the plot moves very quickly; we aren’t given much time to learn about the city or even Sander, his family, or his brother-in-law’s resistance movement.

It’ll be nice to find out more about all that as we move forward.

Overall, great book – especially for Steampunk fans. I’m not the biggest fan of the genre but the overarching themes in this one make it a lot easier to relate to and so far it’s been more of a dystopian fiction sort of story anyway. The series feels like it could be a great gateway series into more hardcore steampunk. We’ll just have to wait and see!

Leave a Reply