Brenden Fletcher & Karl Kerschel, story
Karl Kerschel/MSASSYK, art
Aditya Bidikar, letters
This series continues to amaze in this tenth and final issue of the second story arc. The art illuminates this macro level story about a kingdom in crisis and a micro level story about a female protagonist and her companion, The Queen.
This issue begins, Miluse, a witch, has taken the appearance of Olwyn the Queen and partnered with Rook, the main protagonist. After waking up in a forest, they discuss their options, their past, their parents, and how it impacts their future decisions. However, Miluse lets slip that she knew and hid information from Rook about their mother, who died previously. The conflict that follows feels earned and has lasting consequences.
Rook confronts MIluse and is aided by The Tiger, Rook’s longtime companion. Magic, claws, and fierce fighting ensue. Rook declares that she doesn’t love Miluse. Rook’s response does not dissuade Miuluse who declares her love for Rook. The witch’s true essence is revealed as Rook and Olwyn, The Tiger and true queen, retreat together. The exchange speaks to the challenges this loyal relationship between Rook and Olwyn is capable of enduring and, also, what it must yet face.
Some of the best art, outside of the opening panel showing a grounds-eye view of the sky with a canopy of trees, are a series of flashback scenes showing Rook’s mother’s death and funeral. Colorful leaves painted over black-and-white images represent the clarity of emotions felt. The colorful leaves representing Rook’s present emotional state and awakening perspective. Rook is left asking, what really happened to my mother? .
This issue has an amazing ending with a number of big questions left to be answered when this series picks up again. What will happen when Rook returns to the kingdom? Can Olwyn and Rook protect themselves from Miluse? I can hardly wait for this series to continue. Overall 9.5/10