Review - Syphon # 1Comic Reviews 

Review – Syphon # 1

Review - Syphon # 1

Review – Syphon # 1

Written by: Patrick Meaney & Mohsen Ashraf

Art by: Jeff Edwards

Colours by: John Kalisz

Published by: Image Comics

Available: 21st July 2021

Variant Cover by: John Gallagher

Issue #1

Syphon introduces a new supernatural empath who is entrusted with the power to sense and siphon pain from others. Sylas, a fast-living EMT, is now able to directly ease the suffering of people around him. But the more he uses this gift, the more it curses him with carrying the miseries of those he’s helped. Tormented by his solitude, Sylas is befriended by a drifter who eventually draws him into an ages-old war that has raged for control of the human condition.

Writers: Patrick Meaney & Mohsen Ashraf

This is an interesting spin on a few ideas such as Green Lantern as well as characters like Psylocke. Slylas, an EMT, whit a few skeletons in his closet is transformed by an energy field created by Katherine, an empath who dies and transfers her powers to him. He sees the history and heritage of the power as he is chosen.

Similar to the emotional spectrum within the GL series, each emotion seems to have a different colour and walking him his new ability encourages him to syphon off the pain from a young girl at his building. She’s has a bad day and he absorbs both her negative emotions but also an imprint of why she felt them.

They connect and over the next few weeks we see his relationship deepen, but his emotional state worsens as he soaks up pain, anger, hate, sadness and other negative emotions.

At a party, his bottled up emotions explode into a row with his girlfriend and he storms off, before confronting a thief and learning that his abilities work two ways and he can explode them out in an explosion.

It’s a good deeper look at the impact various powers or abilities have on those that wield them. Ashraf and Meaney create a flawed protagonist, further weighed down by both his job-saving lives and his ability to draw off emotions. Syphon may be one of the first heroes affected by work-related stress.

Art by: Jeff Edwards/ John Kalisz

I normally start an art review talking about the actual artwork, but in this issue, we need to focus on Kalisz use of colours and how they enhance both the story but the art of Edwards. Have a look at the draft script and artwork and compare it after the colourings and lettering have been added. The blacks, magentas and greens bring the page to life. The whole issue is filled with further stunning examples of how colouring adds texture and depth.

It’s also worth seeing how the three elements of script, artwork and colouring all work in harmony as readers forget how close these three functions work together sometimes and credit all the work to either the artist or more likely the writer.

Overall Thoughts

Most comics use empaths as background characters for the “big guns” to use when needed, but here we see the real power that emotions and unburdening people can accomplish. It will be interesting to see how the other two issues in this mini-series keep this momentum

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Michael Lennox

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T'was a cold dark night in East Kilbride... and below the roundabouts, something old and ancient began to shudder awake. The world would rue the day that it gave the Green Jaguar comics to read!

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