Normally, when I start a Webcomics Wednesday post, I focus on the plot first and get to the artwork somewhere in the middle. But when it comes to Jamal Campbell’s The Immortal Nadia Greene, the art—which is immediately what drew me in—deserves top billing. (Not that I’m ignoring the story or anything; we’ll get there, I promise).
Campbell’s fantastic visuals are hyper-realistic, with sharp lighting and shadow, detailed facial expressions, and a cinematic sense of movement. He’s great at evoking atmosphere, character, and drama using the power of visuals—Nadia, the sort-of immortal, bat-wielding protagonist exudes badassery from every angle, while the reapers she fights are full of otherworldly, stylized lines and angles, all with a snappy art nouveau flair. Just check out this glowing, sunset palette and fancy rectilinear perspective:
With art like that, the story ought to be great too, and it is: Nadia Greene has a chronic illness that should have killed her as a child. But stubborn, fierce Nadia isn’t content to take death lying down. Instead, when Hel, one of many reapers, arrives in the hospital room ready to usher the five-year-old into the afterlife, Nadia conjures up a weapon and fights back. As the years go on, more reapers appear in dangerous moments in Nadia’s life to escort her out of the land of the living, and every time, Nadia grabs her bat and sends her afterlife-welcoming-party packing.
Nadia’s been evading death for nearly two decades when Hel informs her that the council of reapers, composed of death figures from a variety of world mythologies, are losing patience. Their attempts to bring her to the afterlife were intermittent before, but now the reapers fight her daily. This takes its a toll—after all, Nadia’s still suffering from that debilitating illness that was supposed to kill her already—but she’s more determined than ever to keep living.
But there’s trouble among the reapers, more than just an obstinate young woman who refuses to die. Morrigan, a triple goddess from Celtic myth, has lost one of its triad. It’s unusual enough for a reaper to die, but Morrigan relies on the balance of her three entities; unbalanced, the powerful goddess is dangerously unstable. While the remaining reapers, including Hermes, Anapa (more commonly known as Anubis), Odin, Erishkigal, and others seek to restore the natural order, Nadia and the remaining two goddess of Morrigan seek revenge. Alexa, the object of their vengeful scheme, has an intriguing secret: She’s been fighting reapers, too.
For all its focus on death and mortality, Campbell’s comic is flush with snappy one-liners and killer comic timing, especially between Nadia and Hermes, who have a playful, banter-fueled friendship. With vibrant characters, gorgeous artwork, and a compelling premise, this comic is one to watch out for. Campbell updates sporadically, but when he adds more content, he posts a lot all at once. Be on the look out for new chapters soon.