Imagine a fertile planet without a sun. Now imagine people living on this planet. It’s hard to envision what it would be like living every day for the rest of your life. That’s the world Tony McMillen created in his new story, Lumen.

Living on a planet without the sun

The story is about a young man named Esteban Vela. He lives on a planet where the Sun disappeared. There are no stars close by, and everyone has to live in the dark. The only way to get light is to receive it through an artificial power source called Lumens. Esteban’s main job is to collect Lumens for Detta, a “Science Witch”.  Each mission Detta assigns Esteban is harder than the last. Even though Esteban could quit, he keeps on going to survive another day without stars in the sky.

Impressionism with markers

McMillen has a very unique art style compared to other artists as he uses markers to create whimsical, semi-abstract images.  Looking at his work is like looking at an impressionist painting. Everything looks confusing when looking too closely. Once you step back, you get a bigger picture with more wispy details than what meets the eye. 

With McMillen’s freestyle use of markers, I got the wild feeling of needing to survive another day. I found myself on the edge of my seat trying to figure how I could survive on this planet without the sun. The only thing I would really like to see is more emphasis on the character’s emotions. As beautiful as the impressionism style is, I sometimes can’t get a grasp on a character’s emotions unless I read their speech bubble.

Characters are interesting enough

The characters are interesting enough. Detta is an older woman with her own intentions; as mysterious as she is, she does try to make sure Esteban stays alive for the missions she has assigned to him. Esteban is just a young man trying to survive another day. He has a slightly brash side and it helps him as he goes on his missions to collect more Lumen.

On the other hand, his brashness leads him into some sticky situations, reflecting his level of immaturity. His sense of humor mixes with his arrogance at times. But by being the best person he can be for himself, it helps him to keep moving forward towards another day of survival.

Battle scenes in a dark setting

I love the setting of this story. Unlike other comics, this one introduces us to an alternative universe where people have found other ways to exist.  Since the world is constantly dark, there are monsters and unknown creatures lurking about trying to get their hands on LumensI love seeing the battles Esteban faces against these creatures to collect more. What I love even more is the technology Detta has to create to survive in the chaotic world of darkness.

I won’t provide a trigger warning for these battles scenes as they aren’t  full of blood and gore. However, I will say the battle scenes are really interesting as they are the main introduction to the creatures of Lumen. They grab my attention as Esteban has to use a special weapon to defend himself against creatures and give us an insight on the mortality rates of this alternative universe.

This comic has a great beginning so far with a world in the dark. With Esteban’s brash yet driven nature, I want to find out what happens to him next. If you want to check out Lumen by Tony McMillen, click here to find more information about his Kickstarter.