Upon looking at the very ominous cover for Aiya #1 you know that things aren’t going to go well for whoever lives in this city. It’s a pivotal moment in the issue as two brothers in conflict attempt to sway the other to their respective sides. However, Aeos is unaware of the lengths his brother is willing go to see his vision fulfilled.
Cutri’s story and pacing are very strong areas in this issue as we are treated to some dialogue heavy moments in the beginning. Aiya #1 does well what a good first issue should in terms of introductions and world building while keeping you immersed in the story. One example is the argument between the brothers which gives a nice balance of characterization and plot movement that sets up this sci-fi epic. Cutri also establishes that their native language is alien but doesn’t distract with trying to give you alien speak to learn/read. He just transitions their language (represented by symblols) into English and you’re never taken out of the story. There are also several action sequences that take place and though brief they carry the weight of a more intense conflict.
The artwork is also done by Cutri who gives the first few opening panels a cinematic feel that intensifies the mood. It’s obvious that the argument taking place between the brothers is made better because of this. Their character designs while in their suits doesn’t give anything away about them but they do look very good. However it’s when the big moment happens that things were slightly less exciting. It’s a moment that fills up the entire page but it just didn’t hit as hard as those character moments earlier on. As far as the characters go we never see Aeos’ face here and that bit of mystery is just fine. When we finally do see his brother it gives so many clues about the other colony and the people that live on it. So it was a nice visual surprise from Cutri and his timing was perfect.
Overall, Aiya is not only a strong link in the long sci-fi chain but also in the tiles that are coming out of AHR Visions. Cutri sets the seeds for something very big here and delivers a cliffhanger that demands you pick up the next issue to see how things unfold.