Comic Review – Voracious Volume 1
Have you ever read a comic that when pitched to you sounds a bit crazy at first? You think to yourself, how can this premise work? In all honesty that is what I thought before reading Volume 1 of Voracious. Just look at the first line of it’s Comixology description, “JURASSIC PARK MEETS TOP CHEF!“. I had no idea what to expect but I will say this, I have never been happier with an out of the box concept as is presented by Voracious.
I try my best to keep spoilers out of my reviews, so I apologize in advance if I may cover a couple while I go over what I thought of Voracious. It’s just hard not to want to talk about this comic in detail. So many pieces that go together so well that need further contemplation. Maybe I will do a follow up talking about the comic in much more detail.
Voracious was created by Markisan Naso. Markisan and artist Jason Muhr created a world that is a mashup of genres, cultures, timelines and the occasional cooking technique. Check out our interview with Markisan. Lots of great insight into who he is and how he and Jason came up with Voracious.
So what is Voracious? It is the story of Nate Willner, an up and coming chef that seems to have a bright future. That is until his sister is killed in an explosion, causing a downward spiral that will eventually lead him back to his home town of Blackfossil, Utah. A place he never imagined living in again. Working in a diner, he pretty much has taken quite a few step backwards in his career. He seems content on not doing much with his life, then fate decided to intervene.
After many months in Blackfossil he suddenly gets summoned by his Uncle Tony’s lawyer. This my friends is where our adventure begins. He ends up finding out his Uncle has died and everything was left to him. Thus leaving the lawyer’s office $500,000 richer and owning his Uncle’s entire estate. So what is there to do? Go check out the estate of course! Not so fast, it’s in the middle of nowhere and the closest road ends two miles from the actual residence. It’s a tough trek but Nate is curious so he goes anyways.
Long story short, we find out that Nate’s Uncle was a scientist and he invented time travel, via time traveling suits. Suits that can only travel to a fixed moment in time, this will be important later in the comic. Nate uses the suit to go back to the time of the dinosaurs, gets attacked and kills a dinosaur with his suit. He ends up eating some of the cooked dino meat because at this point he had been stuck in the past for around six hours, he was hungry. By doing so he learns that dino meat is the best meat he has ever tasted in his life.
Once back in the present he uses the $500,000 to open a restaurant in which he secretly serves dino meat. There you have it, Voracious. It’s an outside of box idea for a comic but what really makes this a must read is the characters, story development and humor.
The characters are great, ranging from our “hero” Nate to his cooler than hell grandma to the overly paranoid cop. The characters drive the story and are expertly intertwined into a story that keeps you coming back for more.
As I mentioned the story is driven by the characters. You have the overall story of Nate traveling back in time to hunt for dino meat that he serves at his restaurant. The love triangle, of sorts, between Nate, his girlfriend and his friend Starlee. Nate’s grandma, Maribel, that knows more about all this than she is letting on. Then you have Sheriff Don, Starlee’s brother, who doesn’t trust Nate. There are so many story threads and characters in this first volume that at a glance could seem overwhelming but trust me when I say that it works. You will be hooked with what is happening with everyone.
The humor in the book can be both subtle or right in your face. I just love all the depictions of Nates imagination. He thinks in thought bubbles and everything seems to be drawn in crayon by a 5 year old. It’s hilarious.
The art in Voracious it great. Artist Jason Muhr is really good at showing people’s emotions in their faces. Which is very important in this book because of all the emotional moments the characters experience. Whether it’s happiness, anger, sadness, jealousy, surprise, it all comes across clearly. Though my favorite part are the dinosaurs. Jason makes these creatures come alive on the page. I would love to get a print with just dinosaurs from the comic. I also want to give a shout out to Andrei Tabacaru, the colorist. Just look at the art, you’ll see what I am talking about.
I came into this comic not knowing what to expect. Only to finish reading it and wanting volume 2 ASAP. I always try to compare a comic I review to something else so readers know what to expect. I can’t do that with Voracious. Which is the biggest compliment I can give to this comic. Voracious is the breath of fresh air I have been looking for in comics. It’s uniqueness makes it stand out among an ocean of comics this industry has become. Check it out, you will not be disappointed. Plus, the cliffhanger at the end of Volume ! will blow your mind.