Comic Book Review: Birthright #33
With emotions running high and this turning into a race against time, you don’t want to be left behind on where this story is heading. This is a chapter in the Rhodes family’s lives where you want to hold tight knowing that at the end of the day this is a story about destiny. The creative team for Birthright has not shied away from emphasizing that they are taking this story to the original concept where not everything is going to be alright for the hero(es).
Jumping back into Brennan’s training with Kallista, I love the way you are left unsure of the situation. Brennan has been stuck with her a good while now, and the last time we saw Brennan, he wasn’t quite looking like himself. Not in the sense that he would when he activated his powers before. This new surge of magic was something different, and it was his reaction to this and the training that made it hard to tell if he was corrupted. This was one of those situations where you would have to wait until he showed this through his actions rather than his words. When that time came? Not even I could say that I was ready for what choice Brennan made. To still be caught off guard like this is a great feeling at this stage.
The focus on the family’s search for Brennan brought about some crucial character moments. Things are a bit more calm for everyone right now, but that hasn’t changed the fact that there are some things that they need to make certain of to each other in order to move forward. One of those things just so happened to end up being the long-awaited conversation between Rya and Mikey. Since their reunion, it goes without saying that they have yet to have a proper discussion about what they are doing, whether that is dealing with their mission or their relationship status. It was a conversation that was once again cut short, but it is good to know that they aren’t ignoring that there was still some things that the two have to work through given the room they have to think about the future. Now what caught me off guard here is where the story took them by the end of this issue. The pacing for this arc has been crazy for the way that they will find themselves quickly jumping into the next big confrontation.
Of course we still were not done with this flashback to Terrenos either. It was a tough pill to swallow finally understanding what happened to Rook. You would have thought he accompanied Mikey a lot longer, and helps to make sense of where Mikey could have easily began going in the wrong direction. Till then, there was a young Mikey, Rya, and Zoshanna battling through a deadly sandstorm to reach The Lost City of Ea. I’m surprised that for this one they are taking their time to tell the story. While some readers might be anxious to see where this journey ends, it is always good to be patient when this is one of those flashbacks that will benefit from matching the progress of what’s going on in the present.
Visually, everything stunning about the interior work came from the use of magic. What stood out in this issue was the line that was drawn in the sand for magic. When Brennan’s magic was first unleashed, you could easily see the beauty in magic that is pure. Maybe that was because of the Diviner, but never could you have felt so blown away by the ‘hopeful’ selection of colors used to capture a force for good. Now, the kind of magic he tapped into was exactly the kind of magic you would fear that could twist someone’s soul. Seeing it from Mastema was one thing, it was another for Brennan who stands as a representation of how it can burn through you. I enjoyed the varied effects they used to show this difference. The fiery effect in which it engulfs him, the smoke with teeth popping out, the abnormal red veins, and lets not forget the shift from that holy shade of colors to warm.
Birthright #33 covered a lot of ground in one issue. Excellent character moments, twists, and pacing that has assured us that this story will not keep us waiting too long with build-up. This is a story where everything good has to be earned. So the dark twist we are given should leave us anticipating how our heroes overcome their next obstacle.