Comic Book Review: Birthright #34
Birthright #33 gave us one hell of a twist when we went from such an endearing moment shared between the rest of the family, to the gutwrenching discovery that they were too late to save Brennan from whatever plans that Kallista had for him. A battle between brothers isn’t what you thought this story would lead to, but that is exactly what we got.
This issue was a pretty fast read.At the core, this issue was all about the fight between Mickey and Brennan. There was of course the flashback to jump in and out of, but in the present it was all about this fight between two brothers. This is a sad time because for as much as you may want a big magic fight, that didn’t come with the revelation that this could end up happening with Mikey and Brennan. Depending on the reader, you may not even call this a fight. This was something that only one party really wanted, and there was also the fact that this was completely one-sided.
With Mikey saved, there really was no better time for what is happening to Brennan. From a character development point of view, Brennan has been pushed into a corner where there is no ignoring the things that he has probably kept inside for the sake of saving his brother. He walked on eggshells in the beginning when he wanted to believe this was Mikey, he stayed with his brother even when there were gaps to his story and motivations. He quickly accepted everything he knew was wrong about Mikey’s actions because he was his younger brother. This was that time where none of that mattered. There was simply the pain/frustration that Brennan never genuinely expressed, and the only person who he could really dump that on. It really makes you wonder who is going to be the one to break through to him. Makes you wonder why the grandfather was really left behind when this is a situation that calls for magical expertise.
I think the only place where I have a problem with this story arc is wondering where the Diviner’s magic begins, and Brennan’s own magic ends. I mean, is this the twisted magic of Terrenos? Or is it an overshadowing of the Diviner’s magic because of Kallista’s influence? Heck, I wouldn’t mind even knowing where the line is drawn in the sand between magic that exists in Terrenos and the magic on Earth. I would think that magic works through different rues depending on the location. These are pretty big questions that I have about the state of magic, and I do hope to end this story with more answers instead.
As for our trip back to that flashback, this one definitely shook things up when we learn something about the world of magic that was as terrifying as advertised. It was one thing to repeat that power is fueled by pain. It was another thing entirely to see how that could manifest in physical form.
The art team did some stunning work this month showing the darker side to magic. This was captured through the form that magic users take when they are consumed by their pain, and it was captured through the obvious difference between magic that comes from Terrenos and the magic that can come from a place more divine. I find it very unique the way that this power flows through Brennan. The effect they went for was more of a bubbling seen in his gut, and in his arms. Even more unique when it came to the monstrous form that as I said above that people can take when consumed by too much pain. I looked at the abomination created and could not tell where a person began and where the monstrosity ended. They dug deep into what twisted physical form that magic could take, and it was not at all what you pictured if those like Lore or Kallista were supposed to be the standard in appearance. Beyond this, there was a lot going on here at three points in time that I believe they handled very well. You could see the difference in age, attitude, and how what unfolding matched with everything else.
Another great month for Birthright. Issue #34 was the perfect way to close things out for this year. Not in a way that ends another story, but simply keeping up with the same momentum and high that keeps us coming back for more. This family is about to tackle round two of their family troubles, and hopefully this one doesn’t end with an actual loss.