Neverlanders Review

Writer: Tom Taylor

Artist: Jon Sommariva

Colorists: Msassyk (Chapters 1-3), Vaneda Vireak (Chapters 4-6), Jean-Francois Beaulieu (Epilogue)

Letterer: Wolfgang Bylsma

Release Date: August 30, 2022

Price: $22.99 (Hardcover), $16.99 (Paperback), $10.99 (Ebook)

Disclaimer: The Comic Book Dispatch was provided a free review copy.

Minor spoilers throughout.

Second star to the right and straight on till morning.  Familiar directions to get to Neverland, but Neverlanders by the creative team of Tom Taylor and Jon Sommariva shows us Neverland like we’ve never seen it before.  Just like Peter Pan, Neverlanders follows an adorable group of children that get whisked away to a magical fantasy land.  But when they arrive it’s not the better life they were promised, instead they find themselves in the middle of a dying land stuck in a never-ending war.  As they step into the roles of modern day lost boys, will these children be able to save Neverland or will it finally fall into the hand of Captain Hook…

If you’re interested in this comic, series, related trades, or any of the others mentioned, then simply click on the title/link to snag a copy through Amazon as you read the Neverlanders Review.

The Story

Tom Taylor leans into his knack for taking classic characters and putting a terrific spin on them to create something uniquely wonderful.  This time he takes a look at what happens to the beloved characters of Peter Pan after the story ends and it’s not pretty.  Plunged into a dark and dying world, readers see what Neverland looks like without Peter to take care of it and what’s happened to Tinkerbell in the wake of his demise. Of course, our heroes won’t be trying to save their new home empty-handed; the magic of Neverland, powered by happy thoughts, grants them powers beyond their wildest dreams.

Taylor delivers a perfect book for young readers.  Neverlanders is aimed at teens and hits this mark well.  It has an engaging plot that keeps steady pacing throughout, is full of twists and turns, and was hard to put down.  Coming in at 192 pages, it’s not a long read and can easily be read in a single sitting, but is broken up into chapters for readers that prefer a slower pace, at least if they can stand ending on a cliffhanger.  While it’s a self-contained story, Taylor leaves enough wiggle room that it would be easy to step back into for a sequel.

The Art

If other half of the Neverlanders creative team, Jon Sommariva, had half as much fun drawing this book as readers will have reading it, he’s a lucky lucky man.  Sommariva is tasked with the hard job of taking recognizable characters, which most readers will have a mental picture of, and creating something new.  He knocks this out of the park, each character design is breathtaking.  Especially the reimagining of Tinkerbell.  This version is a complete badass.  More than all of that though, Sommariva presents page after page of beautiful art that looks at Neverland, the pirates, and all of the magic of this world.

With the consistency of the art throughout Neverlanders, readers may be surprised to realize that Sommariva is partnered with three different colorists throughout the book.  Each colorist adds tremendous talent that takes the art to the next level.  With each new setting comes a new color palette.  The cool greys and blues of a city subway station give way to a warmer, cozy feel as we see the characters junkyard home.  And all that’s before being blasted off to the lush, vibrant greens of Neverland and the dark, ominous, and imposing colors of the pirates’ floating city.

Final Thoughts

Tom Taylor 100% deserves his status as a worldwide bestselling author as he and creative partner, Jon Sommariva, present a modern, gritty take on the classic story of Peter Pan.  Beautifully written and rendered, Neverlanders is a book that readers will come back to over and over.

10/10

 

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