Nat Rodrigues is having strange visions and dreams of a mysterious island, and she locates six other teens who have been experiencing this phenomenon. But that’s not where the coincidences stop, as one day they all awaken with a tattoo only they can see. Right out of the gate, Relics of Youth #1’s plot sounds like a mystery movie from the adventure-filled ’80s (The Goonies is even mentioned) with each character fitting a trope, while not being an exaggeration of said tropes. Luckily, co-writer Chad Rebmann and screenwriter Matt Nicholas (the 80’s film vibe now makes sense) don’t fall into the ‘teens becoming best friends at the first meeting’ trope.
As Nat gathers the grouping of teens in person, their tattoos begin to glow, setting the course for The Bermuda Triangle, where it seems most of Relics of Youth‘s story will take place on. To get to their destination, trust fund baby Garret Evans uses his families yacht —Seas The Day. With the story revolving around the group of six, writers Rebmann and Nicholas’ dialogue for the teenagers work perfectly with each character, as the duo have a great sense of how to write for the situations throughout. Plus the writing duo keeps the mysteries as hidden as they can while giving each moment a sense of wonder.
Within the first issue of Relics of Youth, the 28-page count is used to the max, as the writers cram in as much information as possible (while keeping the mystery alive), leaving little room to breathe, or showing how Nat was able to locate and find the others like her. For a title such as this, the story matters as much as the adventure aspects, but in multiple moments it seems a lot is being said, yet a substantial amount of it feels unimportant.
A Treasure Trove of Art
As Relics of Youth #1 spends the majority of its pages introducing the plot and characters, there’s only one moment of violence, which comes towards the end. To make these moments of character interactions flow better, artist Skylar Partridge keeps their personalities and movements in motion. In these moments Partridge portrays quite a bit of the youths personality in the way they are drawn, and how they act. The characters really drive the plot for Relics of Youth #1, meaning that Partridge isn’t given the opportunity to let her art breath. That is until they discover the mysterious island.
With the teens finally finding the unmapped location, the dialogue takes a step back, while the art is given its opportunity to shine, and shine it does. Using a full page to flex her art muscle, Partridge illustrates a vibrant island that seems teeming with life. By making the ship small, she shows the full scale of the monstrous island, adding a cloud of dust and dangers in the water to help steer home how uncharted this land is.
Relics of Youth #1’s colors are tackled by Vladimir Popov, whose natural colors blend perfectly with the pencils and story being told. Popov’s colors bring life to Partridge’s art, especially during the Island reveal. While the line work illustrates the island beautifully, Popov’s bright vibrant greens help it come alive. This accomplishment is done by his use of lifelike colors that are beautiful, yet can be seen in the real world.
The Land of Lettering
Being void of its share of adventuring, Relics of Youth #1 doesn’t have much in the way of sound effects or other unrealistic happenings. This means Letterer Deron Bennett has no moments to play around. Although Bennett isn’t able to mess around with font styles, or colors, he does place the dialogue bubbles efficiently. During the heavier dialogue moments, the bubbles never clutter the page. This may not seem like much, but when your comic is dialogue/plot heavy it helps the flow greatly while keeping the art malleable.
Relics of Youth/Relics of Conclusion
If Relics of Youth #1 was a film, it would easily be classified as an 80’s adventure. Although it may be heavy with dialogue that doesn’t explain or adds much to the plot. Any fan of adventure comics or movies would love the mysterious start to this adventure! While it seemingly ends on a note promising an explosive next issue!