Malika: Fire & Frost
YouNeek Studios (2019)
CREATOR/WRITER/ART DIRECTOR: Roye Okupe
ARTIST: Sunkanmi Akinboye
COLORIST: Etubi Onucheyo
COVER/CONCEPT ART: Godwin Akpan
LETTERER: Bode Joseph
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Vomoz Communications, Inc
If you saw my original Free Comic Book Day wrap-up I accidentally uses the @ instead of the # so I missed it in the final post. So here’s what I originally wrote.
I had more time to read it properly this time but I’m still missing some serious information here. The best I can gather is that thousands of years ago some guy was turned to stone before he could unleash evil on the world tied to some weapon he called Dragon’s Doom. While and his wife(?) Aya were eternally cursed to remain on “the forbidden island” she wasn’t stone and could send her daughter to gather the Dragon Stones that were used to create his stone prison so that he can use the Dragon’s Doom, powered by man’s own hate and rage, to conquer the world. Cut to 2025 and our title character, Malika, is after one of those stones in Egypt but the Grandmaster and her Olon Jin minions who have been trying to gather them learns of her find. As the Grandmaster confronts Malika they end up teleporting into the path of Eliza Mantel, a martial arts expert who was dragged to a steampunk convention in London by her friend Charles. The stone grants her fire and ice power until she collapses.
So I understand a bit more about what’s going on but there are still names tossed about that I didn’t follow. Who are Atala and Oris? Why the big exposition dump when there are still things missing? I know there are secrets to be revealed and you don’t want to give the whole story in the beginning (this is a teaser to a series or graphic novel or something) but this seemed important. I do seem some interesting ideas but to show you how little I understand African culture there are a lot more dragons in here than I’d expect. In addition to the mentioned artifacts Malika’s power is called the Dragon Destiny and apparently it’s killing her to use it. The stone is either called Ibeji or protected by a being called Ibeji, who is shown as a dragon statue. I thought dragons were more Europe and China than Africa?
I do love the artwork and coloring though. Highlighting Eliza’s new powers, the angles, the backgrounds…it’s all so beautiful to look at. I just wish I knew what was going on.
I haven’t changed my mind from the initial Free Comic Book Day review. I don’t think this is a series I would check into, although if I knew more about it or stumbled across it with enough money in my wallet I might pick it up if only for review. I’m sure there’s a fascinating world here to look into so if at all interests you check it out. They have a website if you want more information but with my current finances I’m not sure I can check into it further.