Brass Sun, written by Ian Edgington with art by INJ Culbard, has for me, been the best new addition to the 2000AD line up in recent years.
I’m not always a fan of fantasy stories, but this one grabbed me from the start, through both the unique setting and the rather lovely art. Culbard has his own style, but right from the start I felt like I was reading something that would make a wonderful Ghibli film.
Set in The Orrey, a clockwork universe, the story follows Wren, a young woman from a dying world who sets out to restart the dying sun. This involves travelling to the other worlds of The Orrey, something that has not been done in centuries after civil war resulted in ending the sole method of travel between planets.
So far the schedule has resulted in a new chapter each year, with three to date. I believe that frequent Edgington-collaborator, the artist D’Israeli, worked on character designs and was originally going to work on alternative stories with Culbard. This never came to be, and although it would have meant seeing more of D’Israeli’s wonderful art, as well as possibly more Brass Sun, I’m glad that to date, Culbard has remained the series’ sole artist.
2000AD have also published the series in American style issues over the last six months. The issues are nice, with high quality paper and a higher than average page count, but the page size is smaller. One of great things about 2000AD has always been the larger page size that really shows off the often beautiful art. The only downside to the big 2000AD books in my collection is, when mixed with the newer books on the shelf, everything looks a little uneven. But I digress.
The only real issue with the American reprints I have is that it has been published as a six issue miniseries but the story is still continuing. I worry that American readers may be put off by the lack of conclusion, as well as the possibility of a long wait for more issues.
The story has the potential to run for some time. Three chapters in and we have only visited three of The Orrey’s planets in any detail. The story reveals its secrets slowly to start with. However, I do wonder whether (due to the introduction of a new character who reveals a huge amount of back story in the third chapter’s introduction), we are actually closer to the end than we thought.
I believe the book is due out in trade very shortly and I fully recommend it, as it’s one of the best things 2000AD have done recently (the weekly prog has been excellent in recent times too and is well worth reading). Pick up Brass Sun, just be aware that it’s only the first chapter in a bigger story.