Previously in Birthright #13
This issue of Birthright could be classified as a “filler,” but it had some very good segments to it as well. The story pulled in and out of our characters’ storylines with Mikey and Brennan fighting and then making up, as siblings tend to do. Then there was Wendy and Rya discovering the mage Mastema. Lastly, we have Aaron and Agent Kylen attempting to track down the “boys” before Mikey hurts anyone else. Character building and setting up the action for next month’s issue is the goal of this issue, but it is done well enough to not be boring.
We begin with Wendy and Rya finding the mage Mastema, who does not want to fight them. I am sure this disappointed Rya – she is always looking for a fight. I can see why her and Mikey got along so well. Mastema just wants to talk. She tells them that on Earth she is called Leslie Mast, who just happens to be one of the richest women in the world. She has used her powers to amass wealth as opposed to staying out of sight like the other mages have done. She feels she deserved it since she saved the Earth and all that. Mages feel they saved the Earth by closing the gates that would have allowed Lore to cross over into our world. And because of that, she figures why should she not get her reward. Rya, of course, does not agree and since she and Wendy are not on board with Mastema’s plan, they will have to wait in her very comfortable house with some magical modifications. The cage she creates to hold them is creepy, with heads and interlocking hands and fingers. Bressan did an amazing job imagining this little detail.
Aaron and Agent Kylen are hanging out at dinner, bouncing ideas off each other about where Mikey and Brennan may be. While eating in the diner that strangely has beer on the menu, Aaron proceeds to pour his heart out, as he tends to do, and talks about his absentee dad and how he promised he would never do that to his kids. As he bleeds all over the counter, he thinks he knows where Brennen and Mikey are heading: his mother’s old house.
Speaking of Mikey and Brennen, they are trying to get off the street after their run-in with the mage Ward. Brennen is not happy. He feels Mikey is not telling him the whole truth and he is tired of it. They get into a pushing match, but the problem here is the little brother is a lot bigger than the big brother so we know how this is going to end. When he can’t win physically, Brennen resorts to mental attacks and tells Mikey he wishes he would have stayed gone. Ouch!
Being Aaron’s son, Mikey bleeds all over the place, figuratively and literally, saying, “Do you think I wanted to get taken from mom and dad? That I wanted any of this? I was taken against my will by strangers, Brennan! I had no choice in my own life. Do you understand that?! Do you?!”
This makes Brennan feel awful. He apologizes and comes up with a place where they can rest and figure out their next move: Grandma Rhodes’ old house. Oh, and who do we see watching over our heroes from a distance? The mage Ward. Another nice little bit of world building and storytelling here is when Mikey and Brennan come up to the house they see graffiti written all over the house saying “child killer.” Brennan has to explain that everyone turned on their dad when he disappeared and he had no one. At this point it dawns on Mikey how his disappearance really affected his family.
We know Aaron and Agent Kylen are waiting for them in the house, and Kylen betrays Aaron and knocks him out using magic. He then tells his men to move in. Kylen learns from his mistakes; he brought an army this time.
Good issue with a lot of character building and personal moments from Mikey, Brennan, and Aaron. The main purpose, however, was to set up what I hope is going to be our next big action sequence and overall story progression.
One of the great things about this issue was the fact that Mastema was so much different than what the other mages seem to be. She was all about herself and proud of it, which I loved. Just like in Aaron’s case where he was blamed for everything that happened with Mikey and even Wendy, the mom turned on him and did not believe Mikey at first when he came back, only Aaron did. So having an all powerful hero character like Mastema turn out to be a little self-centered and self-promoting was good storytelling on Williamson’s part.
Why is Ward following Mikey and Brennan? No, really, why? I guess he is not quite done caring about what happens to this world or being a hero. Next issue should be a good one.