Compass South is a fun adventure fantasy for teenagers, set in the 1800s and featuring two lively twins Alexander and Cleopatra. I did not know what to expect with this comic. I was afraid it would be for too young an audience, but wasn’t I wrong! I loved that comic book.
The drawings are very clear and dynamic. We feel the action scenes very effectively. All the characters are easily recognizable, which is quite a feat considering the number of red haired twins featured in the story. The colours are bright and help create a lighter mood to a story that could be quite dark with some of its difficult topics and grim enemies. I really quite liked the illustrations and was surprised by their high quality. They reminded me of modern European drawing style and works from Disney animation designers. This comic would make a great cartoon for teens.
The story was very engaging. The brother and sister pair are immediately likable, we are drawn into their world and want them to get out of the streets where they have recently been thrown. Their adventure over the seas for a new home is gripping, especially with the bloodthirsty pirates after them, heightened to a fearsome level when the spurned street boy with a grudge joins in. So basically the enemies are scary and keep the readers on their toes, the pace is very well managed with the twins slow discovery of their mysterious heritage. My favourite part was the meeting of the other twins living through something similar. That was a very clever mirror to set before our heros, keeping them in line with their true goal.
The only thing that I liked less was the fact none of the plot is wrapped up by the end of the tome and you really need to read the next volume. But that can be easily remedied with a walk to the comic book store. Something I need to do.
I recommend this book everyone, but particularly to teens able to handle some mature themes. Those pirates are not kidding. Boys will enjoy the adventure, girls will enjoy the spunk and charm of Cleopatra.
For more quality teen comics check out this great list that has me adding new books to my “to read pile”:
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