3 out of 5
Amelia Cole started out with a lot of promise: a unique take on magic; a fleshed out lead character; and a rough but bold art style from Nick Brokenshire. I was content to coast on the generally joyful tone of the story, while little bits and pieces suggested something More on the horizon. Unfortunately – for my tastes, anyway – the More seemed to hem in the uniqueness, and limit the growth of the world and characters. Amelia, and her magic opposite, Hector, became rather predictable heroes bickering over two sides of the same coin, and we were stuck on a course that required some kind of Ultimate Resolution of magic and science instead of just further exploring the world.
Volume 4 continues down that road, and unfortunately further exposes our creatives limitations: writers Adam P. Knave and D.J. Kirkbride already struggled juggling Amelia’s and Hector’s narrations, and now they get overly clever by paralleling them, with the former stuck in the magic world and the latter in the ‘science’ world. Sentences lead in to one another; panels are meant to parallel one another; but it’s too repetitive, and too forced. And often very oddly timed, especially once we have to spend time with survivors in the blended world, and one random people will be dedicated to one narrative, then two or three to another, then the other, without much sense of page timing. Kirkbride also struggles as the art often has to take in large, sweeping scenes of destruction, and his loose linework just isn’t best for that. Back in closeup, on one or two characters doing very clear things, we’re back to the charm that he’s often brought to the series, but at this point in the story, the focus is more on the macro, so there’s not enough of those charming scenes to smooth it out.
The read still zooms by – Amelia Cole is a fun book, and Knave and Kirkbride bounce between jokey and serious dialogue smoothly enough, and have done a good job of not letting magic abilities ruin the street-level stakes, it’s just a rather predictable adventure tale at this point.
I read this digitally, which oddly puts creator credits at the end of each issue that’s collected. Dunno if the print version is like that, but it’s a weird choice.