Let’s talk exposition

Words by Brian Haberlin with Hannah Wall
Art by Brian Haberlin
Colours by Geirrod Van Dyke
Lettering by Francis Takenaga

Once you’re three issues into a series really you’re looking for answers to some of the questions raised by early on. Some mysteries have been introduced and it’s time to expand on what we know so far. This is the case with this issue as we start to learn more about the quest Sylver has ended up on, who she is working with and perhaps for along with who and what is the strange kid that they have ended up with. There’s also some inisights into Slyver’s life of tragedy. The real key is making sure that all these elements are balanced with plot but also that the answers are part of natural exposition.

So often we get random information dumps in comics to give that exposition. A sort of ‘hey let’s have a somewhat stilted conversation and throw information at each other’ information dump. I am glad to say that this is not the case here. This issue is a really good example of how to exposit without it coming across as shoehorned in. Yes, there are conversations but there’s also a few twists as to is having those conversations and why. It keeps things interesting and makes the exposition far more natural and interesting as a result.

For example remember Wax and Wayne? The slightly inept duo from last issue? They seemed to be there purely for comic relief. Whilst they certainly lend a fun lighter air to proceedings there’s a bit more to their role than that. They link back to the person hwo wants the child and whom has a surprising connection to Sylver. It’s something I genuinely did not see coming. This is the kind of exposition that is fun and interesting and gives a twist to the plot as well.

Then we have the mysterious child. Kids who are more than they appear are a very common fantasy trope. Indeed the whole plot relating to rescuing the kid and travelling them with them for a mysterious client whose motives are unclear is something we have seen across both fantasy and science fiction. Therefore this is a solid choice for this series which does combine some of the sci-fi elements with fantasy. The key is to keep things interesting by explaining some of the mystery but keeping the child cloaked in some mystery.

The choice here to make the child a dangerous vessel is a good one. Again it’s an oft used fantasy trope but what makes this interesting is the way that the reveal plays out. There’s a genuine bit of tension as we don’t quite know if our heroes are going to get away unscathed. Yes we get information about how this is not ordinary child but a vessel but we get that as his eyes glow red and we wonder if things are about to get more dangerous. There is a real sense of danger wrapped up with this exposition which means that the exposition serves a real purpose within that as the other characters impress on Slyver how important it is to keep the vessel calm.

I enjoyed this delve into exposition. Nothing here felt forced. The exposition fitted neatly into the action that took place. There’s plenty of questions, indeed there’s even more raised now and I sense there will be some more twists and turns along the way but three issues in and the plot has developed. The stakes have been raised and the tension still continues. You start to wonder how much Slyver is in over her head. Hopefully she’ll find her own answers soon.

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