Disclaimer: I received a free e-copy of this comic in exchange for my open and honest review.
I am terrible with keeping up with comic issues and that is one of the main reasons why I wait for entire collections / omnibuses release. Then I can read an entire story arc in one book without the opportunity to lose focus between issues. I first heard of Sun Dragon’s Song over Twitter and I was intrigued by the concept. I knew this was a comic I wanted to follow for many reasons:
- DRAGON FARM! Yes, this series starts on a farm with dragons and that in itself is epic! The main character Ho Yi helps out at the farm and harvests crystals for the dragons to eat. There is some sort of school/apprentice system where folks get chosen to study to be a dragon rider. I love the plot and the world the author has built.
- All the characters are Asian. This is HUGE for me. When I grew up, I do not remember any comics which featured Asian characters predominantly or as a protagonist. And this is not even diving into the complex issue of homogenizing “Asians.” I would have been happy seeing Korean, Chinese, Indian, Nepalese, Filipino, and so on characters in comics. But there wasn’t for me or at least I did not have access to any.
- The main character is differently-abled. The main character has a physical disability which is integral to the plot (well, I am guessing at this based on the first issue). In this issue, we see the individual and systemic oppression the main character faces and and a glimpse in how his difference in ability will be a source of strength. So many times we read stories where marginalized identities are something we can overcome or we succeed despite them. This is seemingly going in that direction but I hope it avoids that narrative. I want to read stories about the value of our identities.
- The art style is beautiful. Kim Miranda is the artist of the comic and I was drawn to the her style immediately. I like how it does not mimic ‘western-style’ comic/sequential art. The art gives the comic a wonderful feeling and it added a lot to the story for me.
I enjoyed Sun Dragon’s Song #1 with a few caveats. The plot was a little disconnected for me the first time I read it through. In my first read, I felt like I lacked context for what was going on, but I was able to go back again through the issue and really take in the full story. In addition, there were no women portrayed at the dragon farm until the main character’s mother visits. She is a dragon rider and I am hopeful more gender identity diversity shows up later in the issue. Overall, I really enjoyed the first issue, I like where the story is going, and I cannot wait for #2!
Final Rating: 3.7/5