A wonderfully engaging genre-blending tale, Brass Sun: The Wheels Of Worlds is required reading.
On one such world, known as Hind Leg, a young girl named Wren is given part of the secret of the lost key that has the power to restart the sun again. Charged with travelling across the various worlds to pick up other parts of the key which was broken up after The Great War, this unlikely heroine alone possesses the power to save the galaxy from extinction!
From the creative team behind New Deadwardians, Ian Edginton (Stickleback, Ampney Crucis Investigates) and I.N.J. Culbard (The Picture of Dorian Gray, Deadbeats) Brass Sun is a unique fantasy adventure, executed with panache.
Let me get my one critique out of the way because everything else will be gushingly positive: there was no indication in the solicitation or book description that the story isn’t done in this volume! After reading it and marveling at the story so far I was pained to have to wait however long for the rest. There is a “1” at the bottom of the spine.
Brass Sun began in 2012 serialized in 2000AD, then made it to the North American market where is was presented as six single issues, and now collected in a handsome hardcover.
We’re treated to a new universe of worlds interconnected and moving on a mechanical system. Each has evolved at a different rate, but mostly it’s steampunk: Victorian with advanced mechanics. The sun is dying and one girl embarks on a journey to save her planet. Along the way she journeys to different worlds finding the missing pieces of a lost key required for the job.
Our protagonist Wren is a young girl with the tenacity to get the job done, and we watch as she slowly evolves into what is necessary to accomplish that task. After losing her only grandfather, her only living relative, Wren is thrust into the journey but quickly picks up a trusty sidekick, Conductor Seventeen. From there it’s steady growth as she learns to work with what she has, physically and emotionally, and develop.
This is an all-ages work that will appeal to a very broad range of readership. Easy to like heroes and dastardly villains in a universe of excitement and danger. What’s not to like? First our duo is thrown in the middle of a familial conflict that ends in all out world war, then are dragged along with aerial pirates to a far reaching creature expedition. The pace is steady and compelling, the plot providing to us as needed.
It’s a statement on creation, belief and how we see the universe. Wren talks with “The Creator” repeatedly, learning how this universe was created and functions. Each planet and group believes something different, but each holds true to theirs.
The art is clean, detailed and expressive. Culbard has the freedom to literally create everything from scratch and does so with his usual style. He has a love of monsters and that shines through with various nasties. Backgrounds, vehicles, buildings, wardrobes, all detailed and defining to these new worlds we’re exploring. Faces and body language are expressive; while Culbard keeps lines clean and inks light pages are captivating with exceptional use of colour for atmosphere.
The dimensions have shifted slightly but are back to 8.5″ x 11″: my samples above are from the six issues and you can see they were elongated to meet the standard comic size, but those aren’t present in this collected edition. There is an introduction and four 2000AD covers for extras.
Brass Sun (Vol 1): The Wheel Of Worlds is a completely enjoyable all-ages work that deserves your attention.
Originally published at Comic Book Daily.