Continuing to be a divisive addition to the 2018 gaming roster – even non-players of the game find themselves choosing sides when it comes to Sea of Thieves – Rare’s game has been commended for being unique and original, but criticised for lacking almost everything else. But much like a pirate myself, I have found the treasure that is ‘everything else’. It’s hidden in plain sight in this comic, almost under your noses. And you should all read it, because it’s fab.
Taking place almost exclusively in a tavern away from the Sea of Thieves known as The Unfired Pistol, the first issue presents the main characters in a neat way. Standing outside are the first characters we meet: DeMarco Singh, son of a legendary pirate who originally opened The Unfired Pistol and Rin Arai, a straight-talking female – the kind of person you want on your side. Within the first few frames she instantly became my favourite character because she takes absolutely no shit. At. All.
Further characters such as DeMarcos’ sister Lesedi and her crew involving Mele Silvertongue and Alessia St. Marina are all introduced first by overhearing their conversations in a frame, before focussing on them entirely. You really get the feeling this is a rowdy old boozer.
DeMarco and Lesedi have both been summoned to the tavern by an unknown messenger and told to bring an item to help prove they are who they say they are. Siblings and yet rivals, each are given a map to some treasure hidden in the legendary Sea of Thieves. And thus begins their epic race to beat each other to this treasure and uncover the secrets within.
With each crew picking a few new members on their way out of the tavern – including one switching allegiances – they set off on their adventure. With a comic industry standard cliffhanger ending, I am fully invested in what happens next.
Away from the story the comic also features a lot of comedy in-keeping with Rare and Sea of Thieves, plenty of skulduggery inside and outside the tavern, and a pretty good art style. Skulduggery that includes Five Finger Fillet, plenty of rum drinking, and even out-and-out thievery. You expect nothing less from a room full of pirates!
The character drawings are all done very well and nothing seems out of place or misshapen in some of the more action-oriented frames; coloured in fantastically, with some great shading when the crews are out at sea. The team have produced a great-looking comic.
Like almost all first issues of anything, Sea of Thieves #1 aims to introduce us to the characters and themes we will be spending time with whilst reading. And it has done so fantastically, I thoroughly enjoyed reading through this. The characters are funny, there is an incredibly strong female presence – which I found refreshing in a tale about pirates – and whilst the sibling rivalry story is nothing new, I want to know how this one pans out. Yes, I will definitely be sailing the high seas with these reprobates and discovering how their story unfolds, and you should too.