Dark Horse Comics
Available to purchase on Amazon USA
The art and story in Roye Okupe‘s Windmaker looks like it’s inspired by Avatar: The Last Airbender and I think the homage is intentional. Instead of a familiar tale, we have something different that draws from African lore. The Dragon Stones do more than represent the elements; they play a role in the broader universe that this author created. These jewels also grant the holder super abilities.
But some knowledge of this techno-fantasy is required: The Kingdom of Atala was invaded by the Olon Jin centuries ago, and these “false gods” weren’t helping the people at all. The citizens revolted, and these aliens were banished to an island instead of back to whence they came. Over the centuries, this country developed at a pace to perhaps even rival Wakanda from the MCU–but as for who rules this kingdom, that’s uncertain. There’s corruption in the government, and a hero needs to rise within the ranks to prevent another dictatorship from forming.
I’m still processing what the finer points of what this graphic novel represents, and I’ll have to broaden my knowledge by looking at the other works by this author. In what I’ve discovered in this tale is that the lore draws from the rich diversity that is Africa. From the modern culture, character designs, and costumes there’s a lot of detail to like. I don’t know enough about all the various legends and lore throughout the regions to say what’s been more influential, but I do sense that aspect is there. By the time I’m wondering if the mystical order of the Jin will return, my answer is presented in no time flat and it seems thay may have been influencing things from afar.
I recommend this book only because it has everything I want to see in Black Panther 2. Honestly, I think Okupe’s YouNeek YouNiverse is better.
Sunkanmi Akinboye‘s artwork is a fusion of styles, and Godwin Akpan’s painting only adds a deeper richness in the backgrounds he’s created. The layouts are less about mimicking a style introduced in the Avatar, Secrets of Korra included. The heroics concern whether the leads can do some good to end the corruption that’s hidden.
Readers aren’t limited to this release either. The following titles make up what’s currently in print: