3 out of 5
It feels more like a preview than a FCBD entry. Are the Thanatos Diver pages an excerpt or extra content? Are the Stuff of Legend pages important?
Tapalansky and Eckman-Lawn, last seen (to my knowledge) on the lop-sided Awakening, have seemed to switch over to youth lit with Diver, which, in the pages shown, does a good job of laying out the setting of some alt-world where junk diving is the name of the game, and our leading lady wishes to hit up some forbidden zone for some forbidden goos. It’s a little frustrating if this is an excerpt (because I feel like FCBD’s should be new or stand-on-its-own material), but if it is, it’s well-chosen for representing the story: enough to generate interest and still leave plenty to explore. Eckman-Lawn’s loose stylization is certainly an acquired taste, but that’s also the benefit of getting this stuff up front.
The Stuff of Legend pages feel cheap. 4 pages summarizing the book’s setup and then some wordless, context-less preview pages of the upcoming volume. Sorry to Mike Raicht / Brian Smith, but as usual with anything I’ve ever seen from Legend, the draw seems to be the flourished b&w art of Charles Paul Wilson III, as the story of toys coming alive to help their owner ain’t really all that novel no more. Also: anytime I’ve had the chance to peek at the book, I feel like I’m re-reading the beginning, so factor that into my judgement of having another variation on the intro here.
So in both cases, I don’t really feel like we’re offering new readers what they need; rather, we’re offering already-interested comic book readers glimpses of the material. The representations are honest, and Third World gives it context by having ads for the other books available, but it’s not the most ideal use of a FCBD entry.