Previously in Birthright #15
Ladies and Gents, Birthright is back! Took three months to get a new issue on the shelves, but it was worth the wait – even if this issue was a little breeze in this hurricane of a story. This new issue is more about gently getting back into the story and the characters. The story picks up where we left off with Mikey – hurt by Agent Kylen’s SWAT team – is being helped by all the men in his family, including his grandfather, Sameal. Meanwhile, Agent Kylen is throwing a temper tantrum after losing Mikey, and Rya and Wendy are being still held by the mage, Mastema.
Although it is a relaxed pace, Williamson is deliberate and builds his characters while explaining a lot of what is going on in the story to, what I hope will be, a jumping off point for the next action-packed issue.
Rya and Wendy are about to have dinner with Mastema and some of her golem army friends, but are interrupted when a visitor arrives at the house. She feels his presents all Jedi-like in another part of the house. Agent Kylen is pissed and wants to know why Sameal would help the Rhodes family. I guess they don’t know Sameal’s little secret. After debating back and forth, a new mage is introduced who may know something about Sameal’s motives. The new mage, Enoch, wants to try a more diplomatic approach to acquiring Mikey Rhodes.
Meanwhile, the Rhodes men are making their way to Sameal’s hidden lair full of all kinds of goodies. It reminded me of both the Batcave and the house Connor McCloud had in Highlander after collecting artifacts throughout the ages. (And if you look closely on Bressan’s amazing two page layout, you can see a little tease to The Dark Knight hiding in the shadows.) Mikey is put on a healing stone in an attempt to heal some of his physical injuries, but Sameal makes it a point to say that the stone will not heal Mikey’s Nevermind problem.
And then family drama ensues. Aaron is little upset because his deadbeat dad is back in the picture and even though he seemed to be around watching the family, he did nothing to help when they needed him. Sameal in turn tried to explain his point and even outed Brennan as a mage which no one knew about before now. Then before father and son could resolve their differences, a magical guest shows up and Sameal’s “Spidey Sense” is triggered. He rushes to confront the uninvited guest, who is Enoch.
With Sameal gone, Brennan has the bright idea to play with things he does not understand and says he can heal Mikey. Aaron does the “I have a bad feeling about this” bit as Brennan plays the overconfident new hero. Now we have a free and tangible Nevermind running around Grandpa’s house!
It was great to have another issue of Birthright in my hands and even though the pace of the issue was gingerly moving through the story. It gave us a lot of new information that I am sure will be important going forward. The fact that Brennan is a mage and that there is a secret lair in which Grandpa Sameal was prepping for the war to come should be key points. This story does a really good job moving from one cast of characters to another and the action is amazing.
There was one little hiccup in this issue that caused me to go back and re-read a few panels a couple of times to get clarification. Although the drama was great between Sameal and Aaron and the way Bressan drew the emotions on the two men’s faces was on point, the reason Aaron would not stop and listen to his father and just throw accusations at him was lost on me. I get that he left Aaron when he was young; he says there were reasons Aaron doesn’t understand yet but Sameal wants to tell him. Plus, he has just been introduced to a whole new world where his oldest son is a mage and his youngest son is the “chosen one.” Not to mention his dad knows magic! Should you not give him the benefit of the doubt and listen to what he has to say? Is Aaron not doing the same thing to his father that was done to him when Mikey disappeared with no one wanting to listen to him? Anyway, just thoughts I had while reading the story and it is such a small thing in an otherwise good issue.
The art was the stand-out as it was – outside of the two page layout of the mage cave – subtle but so very good. Williamson says they are back for the next five months and it will be full of action, emotion, and reveals! I am so ready!