Previously in Birthright #12
In this issue we see Mikey face someone that is more in his league, as well as we find that not everything is as it seems with our “fallen hero” and the “Nevermind.” The story is kind of one note, but it is still a very good issue as Williamson continues to grow his characters and the overall story. The story has layers and he pushes the reader to think about the motives of people and not just take things at face value. And, of course, Bressan continues to do an outstanding job with the art, especially when he depicts Mikey’s battle with the mage Ward in and under the streets of Chicago.
So we start where we finished last issue, with Mikey tracking down the mage Ward, but instead Ward finds him and Brennen. Witty and antagonistic dialogue is exchanged between the two warriors as they go back and forth hitting, throwing, strangling, and kicking each other through walls until they find their way onto the streets of Chicago.
During the battle, Mikey tells Brennen that Ward is a “monster” and that it was the mages’ fault that he was taken from his family. If the mages had stayed on Terrenos and battled Lore, there would have been no need for a “Hero.” Ward explains that Terrenos was engulfed in war and all he wanted was to “escape that life… to change.” He relays the “sacrifices” he had to make for that “change” were punishment enough for him and all he wants is to be left alone. Mikey states he will not rest until all of the mages are gone from the earth.
Mickey attempts to inflect a fatal blow, but instead he gets a stomach full of the “Blades of the Fields of Forever.” But instead of killing Mikey, the “Blades” causes him to have flash backs of his life. The first vision is of him getting taken from earth, then the first time Rook wanted him to kill a living thing, when he tells Rook he is not his father, and finally a vision of what seems to be his final defeat against Lore. Each seems to be a painful moment in his life. And just as Ward prepares his death blow, Brennen steps in the way and begs for his brother’s life. Ward sees “the Diviner” in Brennen and takes compassion on them both and spares Mikey’s life with a warning, “Tell him to leave the mages alone because not all of us will show him mercy.”
While Mikey was getting his butt kicked, Agent Kylen was still scheming to take Aaron where Wendy had been investigating Mikey’s disappearance, and the strange and fantastical things that happened to him while he has been gone. We find out that Wendy and Aaron are not divorced, and that all of Agent Kylen’s actions are to lure Mikey into a trap so that he and the other mages can find out what happened at that final battle between Lore and Terrenos’ Hero. After they get their answers they will kill him.
Speaking of Wendy, she and Rya have acquired a car and are following Mikey’s magic trail, but instead they find a mage. Rya says the magic coming off of the mage is “extremely powerful.” Rya recognizes her as Mastema and she is hiding her true form with magic. Wendy asks why if she is so powerful does she have so many bodyguards. Rya replies that she is not worried about that, but if Mastema can sense her. And as the final page illustrates, the answer to that would be yes.
This is a very good issue with an epic battle with our “hero” seemingly being defeated… again. We get a glimpse into what happened at the end and how Lore convinced Mikey into allowing the “Nevermind” into him. We also get Mikey’s mindset as to why he wants to find the mages and kill them all. Other chess pieces were placed on the board, like Agent Kylen and his plan to capture Mikey and find out why he became an agent of Lore. And finally who is Mastema and what will happen to Wendy and Rya?