The story begins in 500 B.C. as Mulan is fighting in a bloody battle and unfortunately on the losing side. At the same time the immortals are struggling to find a way to save their legacy and the key to that is rescuing Mulan from the battlefield. Though before she can fully understand what’s going on, we are thrust into the year 2125 to a China that is quite different but it seems as if the dangers of the past aren’t too far behind.
With the story of Mulan having been told through several different interpretations it was interesting to see what this creative team would come up with. What we’re introduced to is a story that compliments the classic tale but does something different and exciting with the main character. Alter and Andreyko shifted the focus from the “woman warrior in disguise” theme and give her another mission. The future setting reveals a version of Mulan who is noticeably different from the woman we meet in 500 B.C. but at her core she is still selfless, compassionate, and able to deliver a serious beat down.
Most of the issue does take place in the future where we see that a virus is tearing away at the global population. From here Andreyko introduces our villain who has much to lose if a cure isn’t found. He also establishes the type of society that Mulan is currently living in and it’s other issues as her character is fleshed out. It’s a nice setup that just delivers on some great character moments without having to rely on over the top action sequences. Though it looks as if we’ll be getting those in the next issue.
Regardless of whether the story is taking place in the past or the future, Kaneshiro’s artwork compliments the narrative very well. The layouts are nice and there’s a smooth flow to the visual storytelling. There are also some really great character designs in both eras. The first five panel sequence is one of the strongest visual pieces in the issue and while it’s taking place you can just hear the clangs of battle in the background. The tech in the future Shanghai looks just as good even when Micah pulls back on the detail. The only sequence that was a bit confusing had to do with the weird moth but maybe that will be explained later.
The creative team has come up with a reimagining that is nothing short of exciting and a compliment to the classic Mulan tale. This first issue is a comfortable set up that does what it’s supposed to and is worth a look if you’re interested in a sci-fi spin on this well known story.