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EI8HT Volume 1: Outcast Paperback – October 20, 2015
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"One of the biggest compliments I can give this book is that with Image and BOOM! Studios cornering the market on flashy, creator-owned books, Ei8ht is the kind of masterful debut that looks to be able to stand right alongside them. There's a clear deliberateness to every choice made in this comic, and every page seems to hold the potential of a new mystery, one that you can't wait to crack. That kind of a hook is rare in this day and age, particularly in a serialized medium that often feels like a numbers game.” - Newsarama
"Unsurprisingly, Albuquerque's art emerges as the main selling point here. Ei8ht has a fairly different aesthetic from Albuquerque's recent DC work. The line-work is a bit looser, but not necessarily less detailed. Albuquerque shows a greater range of facial work and emotional expression in this issue, and that goes a long way towards building tone and making characters like Joshua feel like fully realized people despite their aura of mystery. meanwhile, there's a clever use of color driving this book. Most panels feature only one or two hues, with each color denoting a certain time period or locale. The effect is like a more robust version of Casanova (back in the days when that series relied on monochrome art rather than full color). This series' distinctive visual style sets it apart as much as anything” -IGN
"“EI8HT” #1 is an interesting sc-fi mystery/thriller with phenomenal artwork. I cannot wait to see what happens in the next installment.” - Bloody Disgusting
"Ei8ht might be an epic sci-fi tale, but it's the emotional development of the characters within that makes it stand out. Along with a captivating premise, and mysterious setting, this is a series that I definitely will be following, and you should too.” - Unleash the Fanboy
"Crackling with originality and adventure, EI8HTis stunning creator-owned debut from one of the most celebrated artists in the business today. A masterpiece of visual storytelling with a genuinely compelling mystery at its heart, this is a series I honestly cant recommend highly enough. Bring on the second issue, and quickly!” - Big Comic Page
"Ei8ht has fullysucked me into its world. One comic that made me get lost in the little details traveling through the past, present, future, and everything else in between in the world Ei8ht is forming. It's a comic that has everything I could want in a book. It's nice to have a book that gives you just enough to make you clamor for more.Ei8ht is easily a book that I could gush on and on about. By the time you're done with Ei8ht in this issue, you're going to be saying, "Hey where's the next issue, I want it now!", and you just have to be patient till next month. Buy this book, enjoy it, and get lost in it as much as I have.” - Rhymes With Geek
"Ei8ht kicks off to an exciting first issue that demands your attention from start to finish. It's one of the most enjoyable reads I've had so far this year and the story is incredibly well-structured so you get the comic's plot without getting an overtly-wordy explanation. Keep your eye on this series because I have a feeling it's going places.” - Adventures In Poor Taste
"Awesome debut issue. Super stoked for the rest!” - Comics: The Gathering
"EI8HT is a stunning and evocative new series from one of the best artists working in the business. The compelling premise takes familiar tropes and turns them on their head, asking readers to trust in it. Given the cliffhanger ending and plethora of questions left unanswered, we're in for the long haul. Highly recommended.” - Behind The Panels
"A strong start to a great book. EI8HT has the potential to be a fantastic series. Oh, and did I mention it has Nazis and dinosaurs? Ill take two copies please.” - Comic Buzz
"Colorful characters, gorgeous backdrops, strong writing, what's not to love about this series already? Strap in for a wild ride. I guarantee Ei8ht will fly off the shelves.” - Coming Up Comics
"The potential is definitely here, but you have to really absorb all the elements of it, not just the story, not just the art, but the two and the coloring of it all.” - Fandom Post
"At the very least, this first issue sets up the remainder of the series for some success, as not only is the story interesting by itself, but so too are the character well-written, especially the band of survivors that the time traveler encounters. Ei8ht still ends up being a refreshing tale of time travel, maybe not as groundbreaking in its version of the concept in its first issue, but still trying out something new while also borrowing from other works in the genre. The new plot device of the meld works well as a microcosm of this series, trying out some new ideas and some old ones, and mixing them together into something interesting.” -Graphic Policy
"Ei8ht is an awesome first issue (in every sense of the word), the kind of comic that makes me want to hit the comic shop every Wednesday to see how my latest episodes of my favorite series play out. This first issue, by Rafael Albuquerque and Mike Johnson, spills enough of its secrets to be intriguing, reveals enough of its fictional world to get the reader pondering what is happening, and delivers enough fascinating WTFness to make it stand out from the crowd.” - Comics Bulletin
"Despite those earlier complaints, I'm in on this one; I want to see what persuaded Joshua to risk this extraordinary predicament in the first place. Given the style of this story, that may or may not be possible, which really is just one more reason to stick around and find out. “ -Comic Crusaders
"By the end of the story, it is clear that the creators have a grand vision for this story. It is hard to decide just what mystery is the most intriguing and what will follow in issue two. What is going on in that stand-alone page of a future city where roses are exchanged? The only way to find out is to get on board. Ei8ht looks destined to be one of the years best.” - All-Comic
"I'm excited to see where the book goes from here. We've got all the makings of an interesting, unique sci-fi story seamlessly integrated with beautiful, focused artwork. If you haven't picked it up yet, I highly recommend it. “ - Latest Pull
"I'm interested to see where this story will lead and to learn more about the people of The Meld in future issues of EI8HT “ - Word of the Nerd
"Ei8ht is a very solid read. With an easy to follow plot but put together like a puzzle, the book was a fun read. The characters have some grit to them and definitely leave an impression. The visuals are a match for the story and the universe it resides in. Overall, this is a comic that is worth picking up.” - ComicList
"If you're a fan of the sci-fi genre, this book is definitely something you need to check out. On top of being a book about time travel, this book is a mystery at heart right now and that part of the story is what's really drawing me back for a second issue. Pair that with the timeless work of Rafael Albuquerque, Ei8ht could very well be the sleeper hit of early 2015!” - Following the Nerd
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I found this story disappointing. Based on those reviews I'd read, I expected a fascinating time travel tale mixed with mystery and a truly unique art style. Instead, the story and character development comes off as simplistic and cliché (without exaggeration, it took about 30 minutes to read), the "mystery" is mostly nonexistent, and the art appears sloppy as well as lazy. The monotone color scheme is also a far cry from "distinctive," so take those editorial reviews about this book with a grain of salt.
I'm not sure if this series is continuing beyond issue five, but based on my experience with these issues and the confusing cliffhanger ending, I don't have any intention of wasting anymore time with this series.
Story: A time traveler, Joshua, is sent to a special place independent of time called the Meld - a 'time gyre' where animals and things have been deposited and trapped from all periods of Earth's history. He has been sent to kill one man; he is told that doing so will save his dying wife. But when he arrives, it is without his memory and with only a figure 8 on his wrist to tell him what needs to know. As his memories slowly return, several other time travelers will come into play - each affecting The Meld. For Joshua, the only thing that matters is that the woman who saved him looks very familiar - and he will have to fight to save her from the tyrant of The Meld.
My first thought with this volume was that we have an update of John Carter of Mars - but with time travel replacing space travel. Certainly, the author has great fun with the plasticity of time and enjoys tweaking the reader with subtle clues and hints that there is a lot in the future affecting Joshua's present. Oddly enough, by the end, it didn't sound all that clever any more - the solutions to the mysteries early on were rather pat and unimaginative. And I'm getting the impression that we have a very unreliable narrator if things turn out in future issues as I suspect about his wife.
The illustration work has a conceit: panel backgrounds are color coded to tell readers if something is in the past, present, or future. I didn't need the color schemes and quickly forgot about the coding once I started reading. By the end, when I went back to look at something in the start, I saw the coding page again and kind of wondered why they did it. It wasn't a confusing story and the color coding wasn't really needed. In fact, once I looked again, I found it odd that scenes from 1940s Nazi Germany were color coded the purple meant to be the present (unless there is some twist or I missed something, the book is not set in the 1940s). Since most of the book takes places in the Meld, it's a very orange world (the Meld's 'out of time' color).
Which brought me to other problems. Things like everyone in the Meld speaking one language - despite being from all periods of time and places. Even the German soldier spoke perfectly - it just didn't sit right. Not to mention the fancy outfits using a lot of cloth and metal armor - where's the cotton? Where are the looms? Who shapes all that fancy metal armor? Did weavers and metalsmiths randomly show up in the Meld and teach all they know? It's just so unlikely. Plus, add in surprisingly sloppy drawings (e.g., in one panel, the tyrant's horns are dragon shaped and then the very next panel has them shaped like ram horns) and I couldn't help but feel someone didn't think this through thoroughly enough and then rushed through the illustration work.
As a time waster, Ei8ht is fine. But I couldn't help but feel we were promised a better title than what was delivered here. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.