Admittedly, my usual go-to for comic books are either superheroes or manga-style medieval stories. So, KYRIE, written and illustrated by Matt Crotts, was a little outside of my wheelhouse. But, in this case, I’m glad I took the leap of faith. This was a memorable read, and one I am eager to read more of.
The first thing I noticed about KYRIE was the art style. I’m a child of 90’s comic books. I grew up on overdeveloped muscles, gigantic weapons with high-yield damage, and uniforms with pockets for days. KYRIE is not that. The line art comes across almost cartoony at times, reminding me of the Sunday Funny papers (back when reading the Sunday Funny Papers was a thing). The body types are not drawn overly heroic. Athletic types are slender, and the brutes have big arms, but for the most part, the characters seem normal, in a cartoony sort of way. Some of the soldiers even have more gut than muscle and receding hairlines.
But what stood out to me the most about the art style was the use of color. Every page had a main color that set the mood for the scene, and it made you “feel” the scene. Walks in the desert “felt” hot. Nighttime on a boat at sea “felt” cool. A particular scene involving an ancient ceremony “felt” eerie and mysterious. Even if you removed the dialogue from the pages, you could still “feel” what was happening in the story. Crott’s use of color in storytelling is a long lost art that I wish modern-day comic artists would take the time to remember.
When it comes to plot, KYRIE has all the thrills of an Indiana Jones adventure. It’s got valuable treasures, ancient artifacts, secret societies, and powerful men with dark purposes. Also, the main character, Myra, is a smooth-talking, quick-thinking, fighter woman who makes me think of a female Malcolm Reynolds. More than once, she is able to think on her feet to barely escape impossible situations in a way that would bring pride to any Browncoat. To top it off, these intriguing characters and thriller plotlines are set against the backdrop of the Roman Empire. Exotic locations, beautiful costumes, and ancient architecture abound.
My only real complaint about KYRIE is that each issue seems to finish so quickly. Each time, just as I feel like I’m about to pull back the curtain on another part of this mystery, I find myself staring at the back cover of the issue. Frustrating? Absolutely! But it’s also the mark of a good storyteller.
If you need a break from the standard comic book genre, or you like stories set in the height of the Roman Empire, or you just want an entertaining story, I highly recommend KYRIE.
For more information about Matt Crotts and his book KYRIE, visit his website https://mattcrotts.com/KYRIE