WARNING! SPOILERS FOR THESE ISSUES AND POTENTIAL STORYLINES TO COME
The World of Havos is a land of warriors living in a time of relative peace. Emperor Atilus was once a sound ruler, but has been corrupted by haughty aspirations. He desires to become the most powerful world in existence by using the people of their alternate twin universe, Earth. Atilus’ own family secretly oppose his twisted desires and plot their rebellion. Sybil, the princess and knight of Havos, is the key to their defiance.
Queen Vanora helps her daughter, Sybil, escape from the palace with the help of Horuk. Horuk is brother to the king and promises Vanora to keep his niece safe. After repelling down the fortress, Sybil and Horuk must sneak past the fymiera. The biomechanical beasts were created by Horuk, as was most of the technology in Havos. After a close call with a pack of fymiera, the duo arrives at a secret swamp base to meet with Horuk’s protege, Riley. Upon hearing that Sybil has been “kidnapped” by her uncle, Atilus sends out a war general to bring them back.
On Earth, Elias attempts to ask a girl out on a date, but fails miserably. Eli’s best friend, Brett, is amused by the social awkwardness. Eli is more of a gamer than a ladies man. He decides to invite Brett to a concert that night now that he is dateless. It turns out that Eli’s father is out of the picture and his mother is taking it rather hard. Brett attempts to cheer up his friend and they set off to the concert.
Riley explains that another world exists that is very much like Havos, but slightly different. She informs Sybil that it is imperative that she locate her alternate in order to save both worlds. Riley starts up the portal as Sybil and Horuk step through. The pair find themselves onstage of the concert attended by Eli and Brett. They announce that they are in search of warriors, but the crowed frenzies when a pack of fymiera pass through the portal along with the war general. Sybil is annoyed by the fear in the crowd’s eyes.
Horuk is bitten by one of the fymiera and captured by the war general. Sybil attempts to help her uncle, but is tossed aside by one of the biomechanical beasts. As Eli attempts to help Sybil up, their hands begin to phase and glow. Sybil quickly explains the predicament and asks for Eli’s trust. The tentative young man takes this strange girls hand and the two fuse into one being. Sybil is elated by the fusion, but Eli is confused and distraught. Sybil is clearly in the driver’s seat and begins to go on the offensive. Her advances send the war general running for the portal. As she attempts to eliminate the general, Eli is able to thwart her shot by moving their arm slightly. The trajectory of the arrow hits the portal and closes the way back to Havos.
Sybil and Eli both begin to feel ill and separate from one another. Sybil looks for Horuk, but he is nowhere to be seen. One of the fymiera has dragged Horuk back to Emperor Atilus. Realizing that Riley is capable of activating the portal, the mad king slays his own brother in cold blood. With Sybil stranded on Earth, it appears as though Atilus will move forward with his plans without further disturbance.
Portal Bound does a fantastic job at displaying symmetry between the two worlds. It is obvious that Sybil and Eli are mirror images of one another before we are told about their fusing ability. The only reason I know it’s called fusing however is from the notes in issue 0. I’m sure that concept will be more flushed out in the issues to come. Thanks to the 0 issue, we know that Atilus is the only fused being we have so far besides Sybil and Eli. With the disappearance of Eli’s father, I am fairly certain that his father was abducted by the King and forced to fuse with him. It’s an interesting concept, but fairly obvious. I’ll be more interested in that storyline if the disappearance of Eli’s father is just a misdirect.
The humor in these issues is hit and miss. The banter between Sybil an Eli after their fusion however is absolutely brilliant. It felt like a natural conversation those characters would have with one another in that scenario. The art style looks fine, but doesn’t seem to have its own unique design. Besides Atilus and the beasts, the characters appear to be fairly generic. Some panels look fantastic, but overall, the art lacks originality. The penciler and inker for Portal Bound, Alex Arizmendi, has done some amazing work. I looked into his other work and some of his pieces are mindblowingly awesome. Here’s hoping he brings more of that unique style into these panels moving forward.
The storyline is interesting, but it hasn’t quite gripped me like I would have hoped. That may just be a matter of personal preference however. There is some serious potential for this new series and I’m sure there are some great plot twists and action to come. If you would like to check out Portal Bound, click right here to browse the Aspen Comics online shop.
Note: Aspen Comics provided us with a digital review copy in exchange for our honest review.
Portal Bound Vol. 1 Issues 0-1
- The symmetry between worlds is portrayed very well
- The creature designs are fun
- There is some good humor near the end of issue 1
- The art style doesn't stand out as unique
- The writing at times feels very static
- Character designs feel generic