Brass Sun: The Wheel of Worlds

Brass Sun: The Wheel of Worlds
Alternative editions:
Brass Sun review
Alternative editions:
  • UK publisher / ISBN: 2000AD - ‎ 978-1-78108-269-0
  • Release date: 2014
  • UPC: ‎9781781082690
  • Contains adult content?: no
  • Does this pass the Bechdel test?: yes
  • Positive minority portrayal?: no
  • CATEGORIES: Science-Fiction

Ian Edginton and I. N. J. Culbard introduce us to the world of Brass Sun over an admirably economical opening chapter. We see a world dependent on failing mechanics, a religious orthodoxy with tight control refusing to acknowledge that’s the case, and a rebellious genius with a lot on his conscience trying to make amends. In his introduction Edginton confines his comments to the joy of world building, but it’s no great stretch to understand Brass Sun’s relevance to Earth’s climate change problems.

After the upheavals we’re shown, Wren is told she has a destiny and is rapidly educated in the history of her world, and how it connects with others. “Each world worked in the service of its neighbour. The welfare of one was the welfare of all”, she’s told, Thus the wheel was balanced. There was equilibrium”. She learns of what she’s been bequeathed and what’s needed to restore that balance.

Having come to terms with the imagination Edginton invested in creating one credible society, we learn that’s just the starting point for an ambitious look at other worlds and other people with other methods of perpetuating a civilisation. Don’t look for a rapid solution to the plot, but enjoy the ramble through Edginton’s creativity.

While Edginton conceives the worlds in his head, it’s down to Culbard to present them on paper (or digitally), which he does spectacularly well, designing different locations with different motifs and doing so in an imaginative way, yet simply. This elegant thought is also applied to creation myths and robots, to name but two other constituents of Brass Sun.

The way Edginton sets Brass Sun up is that each new world brings a new adventure before Wren acquires a required piece of the larger key. Unfortunately, as astute readers might figure out anyway, there are many worlds and many quests, and while this is a thicker graphic novel than many from 2000AD, it’s nowhere near thick enough to encompass an ending to what Edginton’s set up. There is room to disclose the origin of the Brass Sun universe, which will set enquiring minds at rest, and so Brass Sun exemplifies the maxim that it’s the journey to be treasured, not the destination.

Bearing that in mind, the best edition to go for is the hardcover that’s part of 2000AD: The Ultimate Collection.