Brenden Fletcher & Karl Kerschl, creators
Karl Kerschl/MSASSYK, art
Aditya Bidikar, letters
In the previous arc, Captain Rook protects Queen Olwyn as they travel toward Isola. They confront a character named Prince, and many other creatures, before escaping. This issue begins, Rook and Queen Olwyn are alone by a river-bed surrounded by rocky cliffs and green overgrowth. Olwyn wakes first to investigate movement she sees in the water. Rook interrupts the scene and urges them to keep moving. Captain Rook locates a small village and goes down to scavenge for food where she meets a young girl, Robird, who serves as a lookout for the people. Robird knows that Rook killed The Prince and that Queen Olwyn is at large. When Rook leaves with supplies, Robird promises not to tell the rest of her people.
I continue to be captivated by the fantasy elements of the story alongside Kerschl’s artwork. The writer layers scenes with flashbacks that communicate the generational impact magic have had on this world and the people who live here. For example, Queen Olwyn sees a reflection of her mother in the water that grabs her and begs her for help. For a minute we see Olwyn transformed back to her original form, a little girl, which reminds the reader that Olwyn has been infected by enchantment or some other form of dark magic.
The connection to magic is overlayed by the emotional connection between the two main characters. Rook is fiercely loyal and committed to both returning Olwyn to Isola and curing her of the enchantment that’s inflicted her. Rook’s loyalty is demonstrated by her risking her own safety to travel to an encampment of soldiers who she identifies as “one of ours.” The risk is that hey could easily identify Rook and also accuse her of harming the Queen. The art that captures the scene of the soldiers camped on an embankment by a body of water is beautiful in its coloring and detail. The art brings this complex and layered to story to life. The magical creature, like the mysterious cat-like creature who steals from Rook, and Queen Olwyn in Tiger-form are magical in appearance while displaying human-like emotions. I highly recommend this story for fans of fantasy and great art. Overall = 9.5/10