Written by: Brain Cleviger
Illustrated by: Meredith McClaren
Colours by: J.N. Wiedle, Shan Murphy
Letters by: Tess Stone
Cover by: Meredith McClaren
Published by: IDW Publishing
Self-proclaimed as a departure from what is usually offered in the pages of Real Science Adventures, the first issue of The Nicodemus Job is a welcome addition to the collection. Taking place in Constantinople in the 11th Century, I am pleased to see an often underused setting that serves as the actual focus of the story and not just an “exotic” place for Western heroes to show off their mad skills. The time period is fascinating, and I loved that the creators included a bit of context both at the beginning and at the end about the history. There is never any harm, and often loads of benefit when you can learn from a comic, as well as glean enjoyment and entertainment from it.
The Nicodemus Job story is compelling with a very complex, unique conflict, and the characters are distinct. I am looking forward to finding out more about them. As of the first issue, they are a little bit archetypal, which is expected and totally okay, but there are hints about their backstories (including a short comic at the end about Sofana and Palatina), so I am hopeful that they will become more full of depth as the series develops.
Some of the dialogue stands out as not fitting the era and region of the setting, but most of it is fine. I did catch a few errors, though all were minor. Overall, I was quite satisfied with the text.
The art is really appealing. The style would do well in an animated cartoon, but also works in the pages of a comic such as this one. I would have loved to see the clean, gridded pages include just a couple of creative layouts to make scenes really pop, but it’s well-organized and clear. The colors are somewhat flat, but it works really well with this art, and the color choices help create that fantasy mood that we all know and love about Real Science Adventures, and that we will wait with baited breath to show up in the next issues of The Nicodemus Job.