Comic Book Review: Birthright #29
Every truth has a lie, and every action has a consequence which all seem to be learning the hard way. The Rhodes family is being pushed to the limit in their fight against Lore on two fronts. One is trying to remove Lore’s grasp on Mikey while he lays dormant, the other is this group of agents who see them all as a threat that should be removed. Samael was bound to bring his own brand of trouble with him, and it wasn’t too surprising what that would be when the time came.
Its crushing to see the position that the Rhodes family has ended up in. A crashed train out in frigid climates, and not only that but they have a baby with them. How does a group like this really manage themselves when half of them aren’t capable for fighting and one of them is not even conscious to help who has all the power to save them? That fear is what keeps you engaged here. They are all working against forces that don’t want them to see even a train ride that simple. With that said, you have to love the humanity they are trying to capture through these characters. It’s not about the power that they wield or if they have the ability to kill. It’s about them being able to stare down the worst and keep moving forward, to think of the lives they need to protect and save along the way. Maybe not all of them are on the same page about that, but that conflict of priorities is enough to make that statement.
The temple buried within the mountain was another unique destination once they reached it. We’ve reached some astonishing locations on Earth so far, but this one stands out among the rest in terms of being fantastical. Now when they said desperate measures must be taken to shift the balance of power against Lore, I don’t think that could have truly prepared anyone for what that actually meant. This is a story where happy endings don’t come easily, and this development within the mountain was the biggest shock in being reminded of that reality.
Following Mikey through his memory of what happened when confronting Lore was tragic. I use that word in the sense of seeing just how much of a loss this was for Mikey from the start. Seeing that the prophecy was meant for someone else, that he was utterly outclassed in power, and that there was at least a hint of truth from Lore that was hard to ignore. All of which could only be topped by what Lore had to show Mikey to strike that motivation and hate to act against the Five Mages. There had to be a spark to that pain which drives him to this point and the execution of that moment was perfect. Samael’s reaction to it all made a big difference in capturing the guilt that he should be feeling in a stronger magnitude for what he could have helped to avoid on his end.
Andrei Bressan and Adriano Lucas amaze with their balance of capturing human elements and the fantastical. First of all, the humanity is something I haven’t gotten into enough through the artwork. For this issue that really stood out through the pain and heart that the Rhodes family showed through their survival of the train crash, for the most part that is. The frustration that they had to show towards the fact that this happened, the panic from questioning who made it out, and the pain from simply surviving. You wouldn’t walk away from that without some kind of scar. Now the temple as stated above was astonishing for the very idea that someplace like this could exist on Earth. The inside of the temple looked as if a piece of Terrenos was carved out and placed inside a mountain. It was an interesting blend of variations of pinks and reds. Just as unique as this location was, the inhabitants were as much through the way they are dressed. I had to do a double-take just to make sure what I was seeing was correct. Only in a story like this could people get away with wearing what looks like organs.
That look of horror on the cover of Birthright #29 makes so much sense when this family is presented with the choice they must make to save Mikey. This family is being challenged in the worst of ways and I hope they do try to answer this requirement to save Mikey in a way that will genuinely impact us. I think we all know who might step up to the plate, but I would love to be proven wrong in assumption.