Bermuda #1 Debuts a Thrilling Survival Tale Within a Promising Fantasy World
Sayantan Gayen
Stories of castaways surviving in the wild have been told for generations. Sometimes these stories draw inspiration from myths. Other times, they're rooted in real-life. IDW's Bermuda uses the world's elusive Devil's Triangle to tell a new adventure. Veteran writer Eisner winner John Layman is joined by artist Nick Bradshaw and colorist Len O'Grady to create the fascinating world of a jungle island called Triangle. Its debut issue is a thrilling ride filled with dangerous monsters, pirates, dark magicians, and gigantic reptiles.
Bermuda #1 starts with Robert and Andi, children of wealthy businessman Elliott Randolph, flying over the Atlantic Ocean accompanied by their bodyguard, Mr. Rodriguez. When their private plane becomes suddenly engulfed in a violent storm, calamity befalls them. Their airplane crashes on the coast of an island. Robert regains consciousness in the midst of the rubble and meets a scrappy, red-haired girl named Bermuda, who ushers him to safety. A befuddled Robert watches as a group of fish-people, aka Mers, rummage through the wreckage. He's shocked when they find his sister. Unable to control his emotions, Robert gives away their safe hideaway and Bermuda jumps into action with a fieriness akin to her hair.
From Bermuda's opening, Layman dives straight into the story's plot and characters without any unnecessary exposition. Layman cleverly places the readers in the shoes of young Robert Randolph as he leaps from one perilous situation to the next, interjecting a sense of bewilderment and wonder in readers. Despite its fast-paced nature, the story easily portrays the adventurous nature and brave personality of its protagonist. As a letterer, Layman experiments by doing away with thought bubbles and uses faded fonts to denote whispers or inner monologues, which produces an interesting effect.
Bradshaw's art style marries well into the adventurous tone of the book. Bradshaw's clean lines and detailed backgrounds conjure up a magical image of dense rainforest. However, the artwork truly shines in the unique designs of the intimidating Mers, and the giant lizards that call the island their home. Colorist Len O'Grady does a fantastic job of emphasizing the vibrant yet perilous atmosphere of the island with the use of bright, vivid colors that give life to Bermuda's expansive panels. Also, O'Grady's careful use of different hues of green to discern various flora and fauna against the forest background is equally impressive.
Bermuda #1 is an exhilarating ride from start to finish, containing both stunning visuals and a strong narrative. The debut issue not only delivers on John Layman's reputation for boisterous and outrageous stories but also lays down a solid groundwork to build its fantasy world. The book ends with an epilogue that offers a glimpse into the science fiction elements that may come into play in the latter part of the story. The debut issue's interesting progression of events can only be taken as a positive sign for future issues to come.