Every note is hit on the keyboard in Glitch’s newest comic, Dissonance. Dissonance focuses on how a new hybrid creature, made up of human and spirit, called a Fantasmen has populated the Earth. While these Fantasmen have unbelievable power, they are being manipulated by a secret group run by Folke and Roisia Herviett who have different views on how the world should be. While they are attempting to rule the world Seraphim, a Fantasmen warrior guard, is sent to Earth from the planet Terra Fantasme to stop an evil spirit from destroying the planet.
The comic does an excellent job of establishing the background of how the Fantasmen came into being. Originally, the spirit part of the Fantasmen were not on Earth but were on their own planet, Terra Fantasme, where they had advanced technology, had transcended their physical forms, and were in an endless war. Due to the endless war, which was slowly destroying their society, they sent help to other planets. The planet that responded was Earth. The only way that these creatures could communicate with humans was by fusing with them to create a symbiotic relationship. As a result of this relationship the humans received advance technology while the spirt creatures received virtue and temperament to help them avoid wars with each other. Unknown to anybody at the time this fusion has the unintended consequence of creating the new powerful hybrid species, human and spirit, the Fantasmen. With this information revealed it provides a quick and easy understanding of how this new species was developed and the tradeoffs that were made. Furthermore, in these fusions humanity had some unintended consequences as the new species the Fantasmen, human and spirit, processed an enormous amount of power. As a result of this discovery, a secret group was formed under the leadership of a man named Herviett as a means to provide balances for society. When he passed away he left the group’s leadership to his 2 children Folke and Roisia who have different opinions on how balances should be achieved. Folke is not against killing or using fear, rather he wants to avoid as many casualties as possible. This is due to his belief that the world has already suffered enough; why add more to it if it is unnecessary. This is the opposite view of his sister Roisia who has a sadistic side as demonstrated by her whipping her servant as a means to relieve stress. While she has not taken any action in helping balance or control society it can be assumed that she will be crueler and use any means necessary to accomplish her goal. This sets up a nice conflict between her and her brother as to who has the best method to control and balance society. As this is going on, the comic introduces another situation as Sepaphim, a non-human Fantasmen, a Fantasmen who has not fused with a human, has been dispatched to Earth to stop and capture Shaergo an evil spirit wanting to cause destruction. With him on Earth it sets up a unique situation as he is there to solve a problem that interferes with Folke and Roisia as they are attempting to control people through the use of fear. The three come into contact with one another and it is only a matter of time before all hell will break lose as they each attempt to enact what they think is right in the situation.
The comic is extremely complex throughout the first issue as many different elements are explained about who the Fantasmen are and where they come from. This includes how they came to Earth and the effect that they have had on technology and its people. Furthermore, the comic fails to explain a variety of things including the process, and what happens to be the title of the book, the Dissonance. The dissonance is when the spirit and human part fuse to create a Fantasmen. The comic does not explain how a spirit finds it owner, how they fuse, what are the direct and indirect effects it has, and the amount of power that they process. All of this is glimpsed over, which is alarming as it is a critical component to the comic and in understanding the true position that humanity is in. Furthermore, the comic provides little to no information about Folke and Roisia’s past, rather it implies that they were abused as children but does not give a reason or clue as to why. Considering that they have opposing viewpoints it seems to me that this would be an important element to disclose in the comic early on so that a reader can understand why they have made the choices they have. Finally, the comic makes the character Sepaphim seem a sad after thought as his dialogue and story arc seem more like a sub-plot rather than part of the main story. Considering that he is on the cover of the first issue it is clear that they did not properly introduce him into the comic with enough characterization for him to make an impact.
Dissonance is an interesting comic to read as it sets forth several new ideas in the science fiction genre. But it is not without its problems as the first issue tends to provide too much information than what a reader can fully comprehend. This makes the comic look as if it is over reaching rather than letting it brew slowly. Despite this deficit the comic does have a strong launching pad for several arcs, but only if it slows down the pace and lets the story unfold itself naturally.