Surprisingly enough, this story doesn’t begin with, “Once upon a time.” Considering the introduction, it probably should. Anyway, once upon a time, magic appeared in this world from the sky, and it entered a select few people and gave them special powers. These people became known as Carriers, and thanks to these powers, they saved the world.
No. Really. They ended war, and everyone lived happily ever after. Well, kind of. In the present day, a queen has taken over, and she is not a very pleasant person. She has a squad that goes out in search of Carriers, so that she can swallow their energy, which makes her appear eternally young. Without this, she starts getting pretty old pretty quick.
This is the premise of THE CARRIERS, written and illustrated by Kevin D. Bandt. In the long run, the idea of using people with special powers as batteries isn’t a new idea, but it’s all in the way Bandt handles it.
One day, a guard named Echo helps a Carrier named Lily escape from becoming psychic food for the queen. He takes her to a former guard named Cypress, who, as it turns out, is funding the resistance against the queen. He quit the guard because of the time he brought a Carrier kid to the queen, who then stripped the poor kid of his magic and his skin. After such a gristly scene, Cypress couldn’t take it anymore.
Now they must join forces to take down the queen and restore peace to the land once again. All in all, it’s a pretty standard fantasy when you look at it like that. However, Bandt brings so much more to it. Rather than the usual archetypes, we get characters we can easily identify with. (Well, except for the evil queen, of course.) His artwork, while a bit stiff at times, perfectly compliments the material. The only part where he truly falters is in the naming of his characters. Echo? Cypress? Really?
But that’s just cosmetic. It’s an enjoyable story, and it will be interesting to see where he goes from here. In the final panel, he suggests something even deeper is going on here, and it’s sure to turn out to be a hell of a tale.
THE CARRIERS #1
Written and illustrated by Kevin D. Bandt
Published by Kevin Bandt Concepts