On a border planet between two factions exists something of a Wild West town where lost and wandering souls gather. Among them is Shay, a bounty hunter looking for a target to make enough money to keep wandering. There is a lot going on under the surface in this town though, and Shay may be here for a long time to come.
The marriage of sci-fi and Western aesthetics in Cremisi is definitely, even if it’s far from the first to do this. That being said, it leans way harder on the Western side of things to the point where the science fiction backdrop is almost superfluous in this first issue. We never leave this town, and the only present sci-fi elements are the fact that Shay is an alien (take the cat ears and tail off, and he’d just look like a human), and the short time we spend on Shay’s ship.
There’s also the matter of the “Cremisi” itself, which appears to be some kind of grim reaper-esque monster. This introduces something of a supernatural quality, though we don’t learn what it actually is in this issue. He’s only mentioned in a drunken horror story from a marshall.
In terms of overall quality, Cremisi has potential, though it’s first outing is drowned somewhat in the less appealing anime clichés. Shay is a stumbling drunkard hiding a competent fighter and a bit of a cutthroat.
There’s also the matter of Shay’s “VI,” Alice, which is a personality that takes care of his ship. While she does have charming moments, she is very much the very innocent, pet-like supporter of Shay. That pet-like quality is worsened by the fact that she dresses like French maid and is also a cat-person like Shay.
She also has the unfortunate task of providing the exposition dump which is intended to remind us that Shay does have something going on beneath the alcohol and sex.
Then there’s Maria, who is the most intriguing character of the three mains to whom we are introduced. She’s a marshal herself, but she’s something of an unscrupulous officer. She’s using a “vacation” as cover to settle an old score.
Sayako Rush is the lead artist in the comic, aided by Sara Deek in shading and color. The art is very good, and there is a lot of detail and depth given to the world. It is a black-and-white comic with some objects colored red. The aesthetic, while not entirely original, does work for the comic, and it looks very good overall.
Cremisi #1 introduces a lot of plot threads in its first issue which really could lead to some interesting places, between the mysterious “Cremisi,” the political structure of the two factions around this border planet, and Maria’s vengeance.
It all just has the unfortunate pleasure of circulaiting around Shay, who has a very unappealing start as a protagonist. Hopefully this can be fixed.
I will recommend Cremisi somewhat tenuously due to its charms outweighing its downfalls and the potential within. Plus, the art is quite gorgeous. Cremisi #1 is not a must-buy, but feel free to give it a try if my description appealed to you. It’s available on ComiXology for a dollar if you should feel compelled.
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