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Self publishing one’s own book or comic is quite common nowadays. Practically anyone can publish their work and because of this we now have a large variety of stories out there. BAAKO is one of these such books.
Created by Joshua Covey, BAAKO Chapter 1 is a creator-owned comic published on Kickstarter and is the first book in a planned all-ages trilogy series.
It all began when a great star fell from the heavens, unleashing an evil force known by those who inhabit this world as “the Hatred.” From that day onward, life has become a constant struggle for survival. The Hatred continues to grow and to consume everything in its path, leaving behind nothing but a barren wasteland, distorting anyone caught in its path into grotesque minions whose only purpose is to serve and further its onslaught, pushing humanity to the brink of extinction.
The story begins quite some time after the Hatred has spread, leaving very few civilizations remaining. It follows a mysterious young girl named Baako, unscathed by the Hatred. She is discovered just on the outskirts of its reach and is taken in by a very small tribe preparing for their next battle. Believing the girl is of great importance, the leaders of the tribe decide to send her away to meet with one who they think could clear away the fog that shrouds her past. Wanting to stay and prove herself a true warrior, she agrees. Unfortunately, before she is able to make it to her destination, tragedy strikes, leaving her with no choice but to turn back the way she came. As she sets out to rejoin the tribe, other mysterious figures come into play who have their own hidden interests of their own in regards to our young heroine.
Artistically, this book is beautiful. I love the all the detail, the vibrant colors, the look of the desert/wasteland backdrops, and even all the creative creatures and monsters. So far, the characters are interesting and unique, fun, and well-developed. I look forward to seeing more of them and their journey as the story unfolds.
Unfortunately, the first issue of Baako comes off as a little short with some sequences that either felt short or unneeded. The series does offer a compelling setting but doesn’t spend much time exploring that world which makes it feel underdeveloped. It was also a little hard to tell who was on which side, but I guess that’s one of the things that will help draw readers into future issues.
Despite its flaws, I still found BAAKO Chapter 1 to be an engaging and satisfying read from start to finish. As the first part of a three-part story, I feel that it accomplishes what it set out to do by introducing the beautifully creative world, the diverse cast of characters and creatures, and the budding plot to the best of its ability. Overall, a pretty good book that will appeal to both young and older readers alike.
FINAL SCORE: 7.5 out of 10