Reviews, Comics

Precious Metal #1 Advanced Review: A Sci-fi Masterclass

Return to the fascinating world of Little Bird in Precious Metal #1 by Darcy Van Poelgeest and Ian Bertram.

Precious Metal 1 Review Cover
Image: Image Comics
By: Javier ReyesJun 6, 2024, 12:44 PM

Precious Metal #1

Precious Metal 1 Full Cover

Writer: Darcy Van Poelgeest

Artist: Ian Bertram

Publisher: Image Comics

Release Date: June 5, 2024

Page Count: 60

Format: Single-issue

Precious Metal #1 brings readers back into the fascinating world of Little Bird with a hard-boiled tale about a man torn between the need to survive and finding answers. Fans of the acclaimed miniseries will be excited to know that this new run delivers everything that made Little Bird an incredible read and more.

In 2019, Darcy Van Poelgeest and Ian Bertram dazzled the comic book world with their astonishing sci-fi series, Little Bird. It stands out as a truly unique comic experience with its immense scope in storytelling and jaw-dropping art. Having read the series recently in preparation for this new review, it only took a few pages for the comic to hook in me. In 2024, it’s time to revisit that strange world in a new prequel series called Precious Metal. Set to dive even deeper into the world of Little Bird, Precious Metal #1 lays the groundwork for a more ambitious and epic story than its predecessor. Curious to learn more? Then check out my full advanced review of the upcoming comic! 


Set thirty-five years before the events of Little Bird, Precious Metal follows Max Weaver on a mission to retrieve a genetically modified kid from falling into the wrong hands. After experiencing a psychic vision caused by the boy’s powers, Max believes the boy holds the key to unlocking his suppressed memories. The problem is that Max is not the only one on the hunt for the child and his peculiar powers. The grizzled mod-tracker must fight tooth and nail to find the answers he’s looking for.

Precious Metal 1 - Max wakes up at a bar surrounded by strange-looking creaturesImage: Image Comics


As much as I prefer to review comics based on their unique merits, comparing Precious Metal to Little Bird is inevitable because the two stories are deeply ingrained together. More than anything, Precious Metal delivers everything that made Little Bird such a breathtaking read and more. The writing and world-building are as bold, cryptic, and imaginative as ever. And knowing that Precious Metal has been in the works since Little Bird’s release, there is no sense of this new comic “missing a step” from the original. So, if you were to read the two comics back-to-back like I did, it makes for an amazingly seamless experience. However, as similar as the series are, Precious Metal is a different beast on its own. With the story following the exploits of Max Weaver (who has yet to earn his title of “Sarge”), the narrative’s tone is much more gritty, hard-boiled, and introspective. If you’re into media like Blade Runner, Dune, and Akira, then Precious Metal will check so many boxes for you. The world-building in this series is so immense that even though this first issue is sixty pages long, it still feels like the comic has barely scratched the surface.

Precious Metal 1 - Max drinks alcohol while approaching religious-looking peopleImage: Image Comics

Just like in Little Bird, the art by Ian Bertram in Precious Metal is visually stunning across every highly detailed panel. Everything from the peculiar-looking characters to the outlandish world design contributes to the comic’s beautifully nightmarish atmosphere. I’m constantly in awe when I turn the page and get met by absurd visuals that stretch beyond anything I could have imagined. Reading Precious Metal (and Little Bird for that matter) reminds me of the feeling I got from experiencing The Incal by Alejandro Jodorowsky and Mœbius for the first time. There’s a constant sense of wonder and discovery as you dive deeper into the story and see all sorts of strange creatures, costumes, devices, and architecture. Even though I may have gotten a bit lost in what’s going on in the narrative, I was always captivated by seeing more of the comic’s fascinating world. The style may not be for everyone, but this series is definitely for people who love experiencing what feels like an acid trip but in comic book form. 

Precious Metal 1 - A child stands ominously in front of a crossImage: Image Comics

Final Thoughts

If you loved Little Bird, then reading Precious Metal is a must. Even with just its first issue, this new series gives you a greater look into a different side of the comic’s robust and strange world. Reading Darcy Van Poelgeest’s heartfelt afterword also puts into perspective how much this new miniseries is going to dive deeper and be more ambitious than its already incredible predecessor. With its breathtaking art and captivating storytelling, Precious Metal is a truly unique comic book experience that must be seen to be believed. 

Why You Should Read Precious Metal

  • The comic gives readers a greater look into the fascinating world of Little Bird.
  • The artworks by Ian Bertram, Matt Hollingsworth, and Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou are absolutely insane.
  • It’s a sci-fi epic similar to stories like Dune, Blade Runner, and Akira.