Solicit: Kieron and Tamara are both seniors at the same high school. They’ve never paid much attention to each other, even though they are the only kids at school who are orphans. On the eve of their eighteenth birthdays, they discover a lifelong secret: in a dimension far away, they are each the leader of an army that is at war with one another… and what’s more, when they turn eighteen, they’re to be Betrothed or Fight to the Death!
Welcome to the first issue of Betrothed, or as I like to call it “It’s Like Romeo and Juliet in Space, Do You Get it, Huh? Huh?” Sean Lewis wrote a great little mini series for Image last year called The Few. You should definitely check it out if you have a chance. But whatever good will he garnered from that series has been squandered on the tropiest set of tropes to ever trope across the comic page. Lewis leans into the Romeo & Juliet comparison HARD starting on page one, and keeps punching that button for the next 20. He follows that up with some pretty painful dialogue from characters that can’t decide whether or not to use contractions and some well worn themes about science versus magic.
Steve Uy’s artwork is not my cup of tea to put it mildly. His simple, manga influenced style and distracting CG backgrounds make Betrothed look like a bad anime from the 80s. The costume designs for the two warring armies look like they were cribbed directly from Avatar the Last Airbender. There’s a splash page featuring the two armies confronting each other that is painfully awkward to look at. I found the entire issue to be completely unappealing visually.
Betrothed #1 is a completely unremarkable comic with nothing new to add to the genres it borrows from. I was no fan of the artist going in, but I expected better from Sean Lewis. I hope he turns things around with his next project.
Rating: LEAVE IT
Joe Patrick is the Co-Founder and Co-Host of the Two-Headed Nerd Comic Book Podcast, and the Editor-In-Chief of twoheadednerd.com. If he could have built a career out of correcting Matt Baum’s mistakes, he would have left you all behind years ago.