I love a strong female protagonist, if you hadn’t realized that from my write up of the Reimagining the Female Hero panel at Special Edition: NYC. I also love period pieces, and The Gilded Age #1 combines both in a steampunk/circus setting. When we meet Hanna, she has a bit of a crush on a magician, Elias Gladstone, and apparently spends a fair amount of time watching his performances from the wings. Despite warnings from a friend, she pursues him and is caught up in his scheme to gain a religious artifact as a result.
Yes, this sounds like your standard “girl is a plot device, not actually an active participant” narrative, but The Gilded Age has a few tricks up its sleeve like any good magician, and Hanna finds her voice along the way. She’s fierce, she’s intelligent, and as such, she gets to call some of the shots in this issue. That’s a pretty big hook for me: after this setup, I’m interested to see how her story, and that of Elias, develops in future issues. I also want to find out how steampunk this place actually is, since we only catch a fleeting glimpse of a robot in a few tantalizingly drawn panels. What rules are in effect in this world?
I really enjoyed this first issue and want to see where this story is going, so I’m giving it a solid 4 out of 5 Lightning Bolts.
THE GILDED AGE #1
Writer: John Robert McGuire III
Artists: Sheldon Mitchell, Tom Chu, Rich Perrotta
Letters:Khari J. Sampson
Publisher: Terminus Media
So it turns out, this is the second rave review this book has gotten here at What’cha Reading. I reviewed it after NYCC not so long ago (The Gilded Age, A Truly Character Driven Steampunk Comic) – Chuck (Editor-Monkey)