Writer, creator, and artist Daniel Warren Johnson
Colors by, Mike Spicer
Letters by, Rus Wooten
In the previous issue, the Roto are in combat with the Paznina while both groups are attacked by a large pink monster. This issue picks up with the Roto, which includes Thea, Rollo, Meshiba, and others suffering significant casualties. The Paznina team experiences defeats, as well, however, they have greater numbers and can better endure.
Heartbreaking acts of courage and betrayal mark this beautifully executed story. Roto befriend Paznina, as evidence by Meshiba and Thea who rescue Annora, a Paznina. Parents betray their children, in the case of Annora’s mother who slaps her in the face after learning that Annora supported the hated Roto’s. In addition, father’s sacrifice their lives for their sons which is the case with Thea whose father kills the Paznina warrior who attacks Rollo.
The exposition is spot on and flushes out the tension embedded in the relationships throughout. For example, Annora states to Thea, “My reason for being is to kill anyone who isn’t Paznina! Especially Roto!” To this Thea asks, “And where has that gotten you?” Thea reflects, “There has to be a better way.” The exchange demonstrates the depth of the struggle when the Paznina’s ideologies as a group come into conflict with Annora’s personal experience with Thea, a Roto. (good) An again, at the end of the issue, Annora has been crowned Queen of the Paznina. Thea and Meshiba have escaped after experiencing significant personal loss. Thea reflects, “Death and sorrow are still here” despite the sacrifices made and the Roto’s perseverance. And again, Thea asks, “Was this all a waste.” It’s the classic do the means outway the ends.
Very rarely is it the case that the story and art are so well-executed as they are in this story. The large sprawling spreads depict the sheer size of the monster and the world in which the battle occurs. The colors complement the brilliant pencilling, which accurately depicts fine details in characters down to the emotions on their faces.
Recommendation: Pick it up – along with issues 1-11.