The real life Amelia Earhart captured hearts for a lot of reasons including the way that many people love a good mystery and, even more importantly, the impact she made on the previously male based world of aviation. While we are now all but certain she was captured by the Japanese, Elsewhere provides an alternative fantasy version where she was transported to a strange world filled with various beasties and alien civilizations instead. This issue sets up the storyline and does an excellent job of introducing us to their version of the character and the world that she now inhabits. It also provides a final reveal that will certainly keep readers coming back for more. In other words, this first issue really soars.
As a proud relative of the late hero, I admit that I went into this with a careful eye. Thankfully, their version of Amelia Earhart captures her spirit very well. Early on in this issue, we even see her proposing plans on her own despite being in a very foreign situation; Her independence, competence, and initiative set the pace for the issue. In the text page at the end, titled “S.O.S” and in appropriately thematic classic typewriter font, Jay Faerber states that he had never been more excited about a book and that energy shines through in not just the book, but the character he created for it. Seeing how enthusiastic she was when she decided to go rescue Fred was a real high point and made me feel just as roused to see the adventure as she was to have it.
As Earhart exclaims, the art is simply amazing! Sumeyye Kesgin is an incredible artist. Long sweeping lines that extend all the way to the edges of the page showcase the landscape of Korvath and make each panel appear far too vast for the reader to take everything in. This also creates a strong sense of immersion. The creatures that they invented for the run are a perfect mix of familiar and strange. I selfishly hope that Elsewhere takes off in a big way so that I can one day own a Steed of my own. Ron Riley’s colors perfectly capture the sense of a fantasy that is set on another planet with almost every panel feeling like a purple sunset and the sharp bright searchlights contrast strongly against it, stressing the danger of them landing on a character.
The very fact that Earhart is on Korvath starts the issue off on a mysterious; however, the rest of the storyline appeared pretty basic at first with Cort and Tavel as a part of a rebellion against the tyrannous Lord Kragen. Still, the fact that her new potential friends can communicate with her and know the earth word plane keeps that mystery in the background of the narrative. Excitingly, the final panel reveals yet another layer that promises even more in future and I can’t wait to see where Jay Faerber and Sumeyye Kesgin take this very intriguing series next.
Overall, this issue is a lot of fun and an interest in Amelia Earhart is not required. If you like female led adventure, science fiction, fantasy, or even mystery stories, you should give his series a chance. Goodness Gracious, Five Stars!
Written by Jay Faerber
Art by Sumeyye Kesgin, Ron Riley, and Thomas Mauer
Published by Image Comics