Brenden Fletcher & Karl Kerschl, story
Karl Kerschl/MSASSYK, art
Aditya Bidikar, letters
In the previous issue, Captain Rook and Queen Olwyn continued their trek to Isola after escaping from The Prince and his followers. This issue begins, Rook and Olwyn encounter a collection of sacred jars, which are vessels that represent the god, “Kaji”. The worshipers of this god appear and they warn the heroes about The Palagrine boss who’s building an army. In addition, they are suspicious of Queen Olwyn who appears to be a Moro, an animal character with human qualities, who’ve been stealing from their people. During the conversation they bring in a wolf-looking Moro who they tie with ropes and elevate to keep from escaping. Captain Rook and Queen Olwyn must decide whether to help the Moro or keep moving toward Isola.
The fantasy elements of this expanding story continue to impress along with the gorgeous art. However, the deeper meanings are found in the story beats that capture this world. For example, the saying “last is found, found is sound” appears in the middle of the issue and seems to have great, but unrevealed meaning. Could it be in reference to Olwyn’s disguise? Or, Captain Rook’s true quest, a return of the Queen to rule Isola? Later in the story the phrase, “broken vessel, broken child” appears and seems to be a foreshadowing of things to come. These mysterious sayings and phrases build the mythos and create intrigue for the reader.
Although the deeper spiritually influenced fantasy elements drive the exposition, its the art that really draws the reader in. The initial panels show a group of birds that are similar to an owl but with larger wings and tails, like a stingray, grouped on a side of a cliff. The colors and create amazing depth and the tones make the space come alive. Later, the birds fly away, upward, out of the cavern communicating, “the cat is out of the bag”, while also giving a feeling of freedom and open space to the story. I can’t imagine how the art could be any better for this amazing story. I highly recommend this book to readers that love fantasy stories. Overall 9.5/10