SubZero Vol. 1 TP
Publisher: Oni Press
Release Date: September 24 2024
Price: $24.99
Creator: Junepurrr
Format: 328 pgs., 6"x9", Full-Color, Trade Paperback
ISBN:  978-1-6371-5443-4
Age Rating: N/A
ICv2 Rating: 4 Stars out of 5

This book, collected from the first chapters of a Webtoon series, is a blend of high fantasy and romance, aimed at a YA audience, but should also appeal to adults who like the combination of genres.

In this case, a war has been raging between two kingdoms, a war that has somehow lasted for 300 years.  Both kingdoms have royal families with the blood of actual dragons in their veins, one red and the other blue, and the hostilities have been fed by the conflict between the two dragon ancestors.

The crown prince of the kingdom of the red dragon needs to wed before he can ascend to the throne, and there are few options along those lines… until the princess of the kingdom of the blue dragon offers herself as both a solution to the prince’s problem and as something of a peace offering, allowing the war to end and the destruction to be repaired.

Of course, nothing is ever as simple as it sounds, and the political and social pressures have put the prince on edge.  Then, there’s a possible romantic triangle to resolve, or a quadrangle, depending on how you look at things.

The artwork is clearly influenced by certain manga stylings, but it is very good, with excellent color.  The pacing was a slight weakness in the early episodes of the story, but only because the creator has such a complex story to tell, involving romance, political intrigue and a host of other things.

This first volume leaves a host of things dangling, which may frustrate readers who are really getting into the story at the break point, but if SubZero continues to develop, this collection will bring a lot of new fans to the series, ones who want to read comics at book-size, to appreciate the art.

--Nick Smith

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