Previously, Birthright #21
This issue of Birthright was another good filler issues that helped the reader get a better understanding of the characters, their place in the world Williamson, Bressan, and Lucas have created, and what is to come in future issues. The quiet moments where different characters interact were done well here. We are reminded just how Mastema is, and we also get a better understanding of the scope of Lore’s power and influence, which really makes it difficult to see how our heroes are ever going to be able to overcome his dominion over Terrenos. There are moments with Rya, again, telling us just how much Mikey means to her, and last but not least, Brennan, Aaron and Sameal talk about training Brennan to use his magic. The art was good, as per usual, but unfortunately no standout panels unlike last issue.
This issue begins with Mastema and her golems attempting to see through the “Sight of Sorrows,” which is something like the “Mirror of Galadriel” in Lord of the Rings. She is able to see Terrenos and how bad it has gotten since her and the other mages left for Earth. In the process, she also looks for her father, King Lore, on his throne, but it’s empty. However, what she can see, he can see too and he makes his presence known. As she struggled against him killing her, she had to ask for assistance from her golems before Lore caused her real damage. In the process of being able to see that Lore’s armies are gathering in Terrenos for something big, she allowed Lore to learn more about the state of the mages on Earth. We also learn that Lore can be in more than one place at a time. What? How do you fight that?
After this, Mastema decides she needs to find out more about her father’s plan and goes to see Mikey and the Nevermind. This move is protested by Kylen, but Mastema’s house; Mastema’s rules. The purpose for the visit is not all that she professes it to be, though. She is actually attempting to determine what side she should fight on: the Earth’s protectors or her father’s. I guess she is out for herself after all. And she is all about using “other” interrogative techniques not sanctioned by the Geneva Convention to get the information she wants. Ouch!
It seems like something big is going to happen between Mikey and Rya because Williamson is building their relationship through flashbacks. I do enjoy looking back to see how Mikey becomes the “Chosen One.” It really is a whole other story inside our main story. In this case, like last issue, Mikey is like a fish out of water not knowing what is dangerous and what is not. He gets snatched up by a “Sharkmaiden,” which is a play off of a mermaid, but with a shark for a face! Rya flies and swims to the rescue and finds that she may actually like the kid who will become her baby daddy. The story was used to frame a conversation Rya and Wendy have about Rya having to make the choice to kill Mikey if he really is working for Lore. Wendy tells her the story of how she mistrusted Aaron and how her mistrust turned to poison for their relationship. She warns Rya that she may want to talk to Mikey before she jumps to putting a knife through his heart.
And last we get Brennan, Aaron, and Sameal talking about training Brennan to use his powers. Aaron, as he has always done, supports his son. Sameal thinks they will need all the help they can get to break Mikey out of Mastema’s castle. This is a small part of the issue, but it lets the reader know that Brennan will play a part in breaking out his brother before Mastema really breaks Mikey.
This issue again was more of a character builder and gave us, the reader, insight into the micro level of the overall story. As I said before, I love the flashbacks because they expand the world and makes the story so much more complex and more three dimensional. I also loved how Wendy talks to Rya about how she lost Aaron by not trusting him. When she tells her, “At first it was just a small thought …a doubt. But it kept creeping its way into my mind until… Aaron killed Mikey” was very rich writing by Williamson.