The Webcomic Watchman

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Review #4: Onward Bound

Title: Onward Bound
Artists: Darrick Chen and Dustin Baker
Collective: Panda Rage Productions
Genre: Fantasy/Western
Format: Ongoing Serial
Updates: Two pages per week

This comic looks a lot like a story I tried to write once, involving the decline of magic during the Industrial Revolution or something like that. But this isn't about me, this is about Onward Bound.

The setting appears to be a smorgasboard of different themes. It's set in an Old Western canon, yet the protagonist runs into a spellcasting mage, a sheriff with a metallic, steam-powered arm, and likes to smoke a slow-burning Dwarvish tobacco.

The story so far involves a woman named Serrada Blue, a real talented gunslinger who has come to a town called "Ramshackle." After just seven or eight strips, Serrada pulls one of the most awesome moves I've ever seen in webcomics on the corrupt sheriff guy. I won't ruin it for you here, but it is a very exciting twist.

I can't say much more about the story, as not much has happened, but Serrada seems to get into more Wild West showdowns than Calamity Jane in the next 70 strips, including two fights with the sheriff with the steam-powered arm, a trio of gunmen, and even an Elvish guy who can block bullets and shoot zappy bolt thingies with his magic. How will Serrada excape this one? Only time will tell...or the next update.

But I'm sure that this comic will keep going up in value if it can just flesh out the backstory of Serrada and add some more memorable characters into the mix.

Art: 4/5 (Very good, but the backgrounds during the fight scenes could use a little work.)
Story: 3/5 (Has potential, but not much to say right now other than a series of fights.)
Humor: 2/5 (A little bit, but you probably aren't reading this for the humor)
Action: 4/5 (Lots and lots o' action here, and it looks pretty kick-ass too)
Characters: 3/5 (Interesting mix of characters, but the bad guys feel too generic)
Overall (not an average): 7/10
Evil Stuff: Moderate violence, some blood.
Recommendation: Definitely keep your eye on this comic.


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