Writer/Artist: Peter Bergting
Publisher: Image Comics
Milo, the hero of The Portent #1, is a jerk. There, I said it. He really doesn't have any likable traits other than his ability to kick dead guys' butts. Also, he seems to be a slacker, a guy who would rather whine than help the human world with an attack of the living dead. He reminds me of a forty-year-old guy who works part-time at a supermarket and lives in his parents' basement, playing video games all day. Okay, that might have been a little harsh (since this guy can bring it with a sword), but he doesn't seem to have a lot of ambition. Even his speech is adolescent and lacks heroic qualities. Milo has an argument with Lin, the main female character, which amounts to a schoolyard debate: "OK, be that way!" "I will!" "Fine!" "Fine!" But, I think the teenage mentality is an effective storytelling tool for Peter Bergting. We can see that Milo is a reluctant hero in a place that needs his sword and his skills, though we don't know much about him or why he has come to this place. All we know is that the coven of this particular land thinks Milo will save them from the dread Mokkurkalve, who will turn all humans into ghosts if he is not defeated. The Mokkurkalve looks the Iron Giant, but it seems like a worthy adversary for a hero who is destined to save mankind. Plus, you can't forget about the army of dead and spirits seen at the end of the issue. Needless to say, there is a lot of material for development here, and it seems that Bergting has a quality plan in mind.
Speaking of Bergting, I think a lot of credit needs to be given to him for single-handedly writing and drawing this detailed first issue. The art is fantastic and really aided my involvement and enjoyment in the proceedings. Everything has a dark tone or edge to it, really fitting with a story detailing a coming war between the living and the dead. Also, the dead are depicted as creepy little characters for the most part, rather than the rotting corpses we are so used to seeing in any film about the living dead. I think that this works in this series, since the dead are supposed to be a viable enemy of man rather than overwhelming hordes of mindless thugs. Really, I can't think of a single flaw in Mr. Bergting's art here, and if this is the kind of work that will continue in this series, I am definitely going to continue buying it.
Truth be told, the dialogue could be a little crisper and a little more imaginative, but these are minor complaints in comparison to the whole product. How have I not heard of Peter Bergting up until now? The atmosphere Bergting has created in Portent #1 captured me completely, leaving me wanting issue #2 right away. A compelling story with great art will always win over comic book fans everywhere, and I think everyone should check out this first issue. You won't be disappointed.
What did you think of this book?
Have your say at the Line of Fire Forum!