Brutal Nature #1 Review
Brutal Nature #1
Writer: Luciano Saracino
Art: Ariel Olivetti
Never judge a book by its covers. I’m learning to do it less and less every time I pick up an IDW book. What it inside will surprise you.
Brutal Nature is indeed brutal, but not nature itself. This book takes place in the South American jungles during the time of the Spanish invasion. You should already know how that goes, but this book isn’t a history lesson. There is powerful magic at work in these jungles. Enough to turn a man into great animals by donning a mask. That is where our main character, Ich, comes in. Ich has been given shape shifting abilities through his many animals masks. They help him protect the jungles and its people. It may not be enough against the Spanish, but he has to try. The hopes and dreams of his people rest with him. He knows what happens when he is not around to help them. Not a pretty site.
You may be wondering how can one man protect all of South America? Well, you have to read it to find out. Seriously, this is a very interesting story. We all know how the natives and the Europeans waged some brutal wars. We all know those outcomes, but will we get a different narrative this time? History is indeed written by the victors, so what does the losing side look like? Will we see a losing side? Either way, I am greatly enjoying how Luciano Saracino is handling this story. There are no scenes of unnecessary brutality (rape, infanticide, etc.) other than what we know to be historically accurate or what needs to be shown.
The art in this book is just wonderful. I love how ethnic our characters and his people look. I can hear the collective groan, but it makes a big difference to people like me who celebrate difference looks and different ethnicities and races. I like seeing that reflected in art. Ariel Olivetti gives us beautiful work in that category as well as handling all around character design and setting. Lots of lush jungle and beautiful stonework in the buildings. While it may seem that Olivetti pulls some punches, she still makes some of the scenes pretty brutal. I love the colors and semi-realistic look of it all.
I am very interested in the outcome of this invasion. Ich has a lot of work to do, and I can only imagine how much worse it could get. This is a fun book in a way. It adds a little spark of imagination to history, which doesn’t have to be a bad thing. With this type of writing and art, how can it be a bad thing? While I have found the lives of native people to be interesting, I never really got into any Native American mythos, especially South American mythos, but it may come in handy when ready this book. I don’t think its required for this well thought out story, but I’d like to have some extra knowledge for the next issue.