Previously in Birthright #23
Is this the issue that Birthright falls off of its epic run and falls into mediocrity? Well, I would not go that far, but it did fall off a bit. Some sequences felt out of place in this universe and the pacing of each storyline felt off. I always praise the art of Bressan and Lucas, but the way some of the panels in this issue were oddly constructed, and were more distracting than seamless; at times even comical. And I don’t think that was on purpose. So, my geek heart shed a little tear as I finished that last page which should have been epic, but instead was more like, “What just happened?”
The issue begins with Brennan, Aaron, and Sameal discussing how to get inside of Mastema’s compound as her and Kylen’s battle continues. All the while, we have what was supposed to be a grand reunion between Mikey and Rya. Rya is confused why the man she loves has turned from what they both know is true: Lore is evil and must be stopped. Mikey tells her she would not understand and this is where the art begins its decent from the perch I had placed it on.
Some of the characters and panels are as they should be, and what I have come to expect, but some looked basic and lack the subtle details Bressan’s and Lucas’s work usually exemplifies. In one panel, Rya and Mikey are debating on the particulars of who the good and bad guys are as Kylen and Mastema battle in the back ground. It felt like a joke being played on the reader. It was not exciting or engrossing; it felt like Looney Toons. And is it wrong that as Mikey and Rya had their debate about the mages all I could hear was Anakin telling Obi-Wan that it is the Jedi who are evil?
We also got the reunion of Wendy, Brennan, and Aaron. I was expecting Wendy to fall on her sword after the “I missed you so much” and “thank God you are safe” hug between her and Brennan. Instead, she admonishes Aaron and tells him again he did something wrong. She should know by now that Aaron can be trusted, but NOPE! Not sure if this is the feeling Williamson wanted to elicit, but I sure felt that way. And as all of the characters come together, Mikey snaps Kylen’s neck, killing off another mage. Or did he? Kylen’s body starts to walk and talk again with some pretty crazy art which, brought me back to my happy place. And as Kylen leaves the story, Kallista returns. Do you remember her?
Maybe this issue was not as bad as I thought the first time I read it. Was it as good as the previous issues? No, but it tried to come back in the end. It was a setup for the next villain, and featured some reunions and miscommunication between all the players. I know Williamson and crew will get us back to the level we know and love, so I am not worried that this is the beginning of mundane.