In Dishonored #1 you are brought into Dunwall, the capital of the Empire of Isles. It’s been over twelve years since a coup against the throne was defeated, and now Corvo, the main protagonist, is left with questions that he must answer. The most important being that of his legacy. The question of legacy has long plagued people as they notice that at some point, they will no longer walk the Earth. You ask yourself, “What am I leaving behind, and how will it impact the world I leave?” For the vast majority of people, that question will be answered by having children, for others it will be companies, and projects that live on after they are laid to rest.
Dishonored #1 provides a very different answer as we find ourselves in the middle of a mystery in a Victorian England-esque world full of villains. Writer Gordon Rennie uses an interesting narration style where the story isn’t just told vocally by the protagonist, but his thoughts are written into the panels. He gives us both views of what they are saying and thinking. It allows us to see how a character’s thoughts don’t always end up being what they actually say. Rennie also has a talent for writing in just enough information so that you aren’t lost. He places down crumbs of clues for you to follow along as you read. It keeps you engaged and easily allows you to follow along without having to re-read panels thinking you missed something.
Artist Andrea Olimpieri does a fantastic job of capturing the the world of Dishonored. The art screams Victorian England with the building architecture and the clothing design. But it also has the iconic steampunk elements that burst onto the story. It’s an extremely enjoyable visual experience. Olimpieri also does a good job setting up the panels. However,at times they felt a little clunky and make you have to do a double take. The human characters in the story all have unique characteristics that fill them with life and reinforce the Victorian England steampunk vibe.
Colorist Marcelo Maiolo stays true to the theme of both the environment and the story itself. For the theme he used shades normally associated with the Victorian era as seen in our modern art. The colors aren’t overly bright, and they even have a kind of dullness to them. Even with that, when the story needed a splash of color, he knew how to maintain that style of coloring.
Dishonored #1 not only asks some of the most primal questions humanity has, but it does a good job at presenting it to us in a unique manner. Gordon Rennie, is an amazing writer, and he continues this trend with this story. Andrea Olimpieri’s art sticks to a theme and does it well. Though the paneling at times felt clunky he did a fine job providing visually appealing pages. Finally, Marcelo Maiolo knows how to use colors in a way to speak to the theme of the story. He knows when to use each color to it’s fullest without overtly taking away from the story itself.
- Solid writing by Gordon Rennie
- The art by Andrea Olimpieri captures Rennie’s ideas in an excellent way
- Marcelo Maiolo’s coloring brings to life the story
- Panels are a little too clunky