Comic Book Review: Birthright #27
The feeling is good having Birthright back into the monthly swing. Issue #26 gave us a small understanding of where the story is now taking the Rhodes family after their encounter with Lore’s agents. The lengths as well that they are willing to go in order to save Mikey and Brennan from Lore’s hold. All easier said than done of course when this family is currently down two of three of their most capable fighters.
The good thing about subtracting Mikey and Brennan from the equation is that you are losing two of three characters with any magical/fighting skill. That pretty much leaves Samael who at the very least you appreciate the presence for having a realist perspective of the situation. Rya is still a warrior, but you wouldn’t expect her to spring into action the way Mikey does when she has a baby to worry about. So with that said, the dynamic changes in a big way. Especially when Wendy is the most proactive when it comes to making sure everyone is on the same page about what they need to do next, and making sure that everyone is serious about it too. Getting back to Rya, this change in her as well is welcomed. You’ve seen her so stressed out, in pain, and frustrated, that even for a short time it is good to see what it is like for that weight to be lifted. You know it is costly, but that is how you get to further know a character past the labels like warrior.
This venture through Mikey’s memories is also a cool change to what was us before being thrown into points in his past randomly. Well not randomly, but there wasn’t a direct cause for that trip through memory lane. Here you have Samael actively looking through his mind for the answer to where things went wrong. It was quite terrifying to see and understand just how troubled Mikey is for it to be so hard to get answers from his mind. It’s a completely different atmosphere to jump into Mikey’s mind closer to the point where he takes on Lore. The very reason for the difficulty Samael is finding was just as shocking since nothing is ever as it seems on the surface.
A big mystery from the issue before was the deal with these soldiers following the Rhodes family. There was nothing about them that you could connect to their current troubles. They seemed like another trouble altogether when it seemed that they were sent by some other authority than Lore’s. Which isn’t a bad thing considering the Rhodes family has probably attracted other’s attention through what has been unleashed on Earth. The suspense in figuring out what their deal is works for the sake of plot development. You hope for someone to pick up on the danger of these people, though this is also that time where you need to stress the dangers of being too human for what the Rhodes family is getting themselves into.
There was a lot I enjoyed about this issue through the artwork. Mainly when it came to the way Andre Bressan and Adriano Lucas took us back into Mikey’s memories. First off the splash page was gorgeous. You could tell it took some time to create that effect of falling into Mikey’s memories as if it were a well. Whether those were images already drawn before, or newly drawn, all of them came out looking detailed and the cone perspective didn’t hurt the quality either. The red-ish hue was applied good enough for us to still be able to see what is going on in each memory. That first panel into the memory was some of the most beautiful color work I have seen from the series so far. When you’ve seen so much of the destruction done to Terrenos, it is easy to forget the beauty that still exists trough such an exotic selection of colors. What really grabbed my attention from there was that we are now finally seeing a full rendering of Lore in action. That is quite the hideous monster, and that’s not even talking about simply the bottom half of his face. That aside, I liked the look of these soldiers. Underneath it all they look like regular people and ignoring the part where this isn’t their first rodeo with magic, nothing visually tells you who they are working for. That is the part that keeps you at the edge of your seat. Clearly they are dangerous from the way they carry themselves, but they were drawn to keep you guessing.
Fully understood at this point why Joshua Williamson says these two are the stars of the book.
Birthright #27 takes its time to tell a good story. Anyone could complain that nothing too big has happened in these past two issues, but it doesn’t always have to be action that pushes us forward. We now know what is holding them back from getting through to Mikey, and we also know a little more about these soldiers who have come out of nowhere looking for the Rhodes family. Call this an adventure or a journey, though that only comes with what happens between point A and point B.