Created by – Chris Miskiewicz and Palle Schmidt
Written by – Chris Miskiewicz
Illustrated by – Palle Schmidt
Lettering by – Deron Bennett
Summary – What would you do if you had the magical ability and responsibility to protect the island of Manhattan from supernatural forces of evil? Well, if you’re Thomas Alsop, you get a reality television show and make some money off of it, that’s what! Alsop is the current “Hand of the Island,” a title handed down from generation to generation. He guards Manhattan from evil, using his family’s prowess for magic. Thomas has money and fame, but also the burden of a being this generation’s occult warrior. Can he survive the battles both within and without?
Review – Thomas Alsop: Hand of the Island (which i’m going to refer to as just TA: HotI throughout the review for ease) begins with a foreword by Miskiewicz describing the events leading to the publication of this series, which also heavily features the 9/11 terror disaster within its story .
The plot is split between 18th Century New York and the present day. In old New York we are shown Alsop’s ancestor fighting evil as a mysterious new ship arrives which has a really bad vibe to it. Throughout the volume we are shown how the evil which affects the present day came into existence. In the modern day, Thomas is juggling his role as the hand with his huge media personality and we are given some good background on how being the hand works and how he is connected to Manhattan itself.
The characters we are introduced to in this first volume are great. Thomas Alsop has all the potential to be unlikeable but Miskiewicz has done a great job at making him a good guy who has a nice supporting cast including Martin, Emma and the cab driver who Thomas becomes friends with. The artwork has a lovely sketchy quality to it which suits the tone of the book and really adds to the story. Schmidt has done a really good job with this series so far.
Overall – One of the most controversial factors of this book is that it deals with the 9/11 disaster and all those who lost their lives. Personally, i feel that the subject is handled in a sensitive way and should not cause offense. The various plotlines within the volume mingle well and are supported with a very nice art style. The reader is left genuinely excited for the next entry in the series and i would heartily recommend this to others.