Previously in Birthright #4
Can this book get any better? Josh Williamson is at the top of his game as the story continues to streak down the track moving from our world to Terrenos with all kinds of surprises, until we finally get a slap in the face and a serious “what the “frak!” moment. In this issue, you come face to face with a game changer in the story. I cannot praise this book enough. But enough of me lauding this story, let’s get this party started!
On Terrenos, young Mikey is making his first heroic act on his journey: attempting to save Rya from the terror that is a hell hound. And just when Mikey’s journey was about the end before it even began, Rook comes in and saves the day. Even though Mikey has shown that he can be brave, he takes the killing of the hell hound hard avowing that, “I could never kill anyone. I just can’t. Nothing could ever make me!” This as older Mikey is in a deadly battle with the mage Ward. Mikey continues to attest that Ward is evil as Ward disputes these statements as “madness.” Brennan, wanting to help, rushed to his brother after retrieving the Flaming Sword of Mount Blood from the back of the car. Seeing the sword, Ward understands who Mikey is and the conflict intensifies. Ward attacks Brennan and Aaron because he thinks they are the reason Mikey was able to come back to the Earth – this was a mistake because with his focus diverted, Mikey is able to deal Ward a death blow. But before Ward takes his last breath he gives Brennan a gift, he shows him what his brother really is, a man with a second bloody head! Brennan has a hard time understanding what he is seeing, the Nevermind, and Aaron is hurt in the battle with Ward. Just then Wendy and the police catch up to them and Aaron decides to distract Wendy as the boy sneak away.
Back on Terrenos, we see young Mikey looking over an amazing landscape with Rya by his side. They are discussing whether Mikey will ever be able to go home again. Rya informs him the prophecy says he will not go home until he defeats Lore. Guess even prophecies can be wrong. But at least Mikey’s show of bravery has softened Rya’s disposition towards him. Oh, and then Mikey gets to meet a princess who, according to prophecy, he will marry. On Earth, Brennan is still having a hard time believing his eyes as he sees Mikey’s debate the Nevermind. Then a portal opens in a wooded area, and who do we see arriving on the scene? An adult Rya with a bun in the oven! Who is her baby daddy?
Okay, turn away if you don’t want to see all of this gratifying of both Williamson and the artists Bressan and Lucas. This was an arc-ender if there ever was one, especially for a new book. It had everything, battles, blood, magic swords, princesses, prophesies, marriage proposals and surprise pregnancies! It was crazy good. And I am going to speculate that we got to witness the birth of two heroes in this book. Which is foreshadowed when Aaron talks about his boy being a hero…both of them. Going forward I think we are going to be witnessing one hero’s journey which happened in the past and another’s that is unfolding now. But which one is the real hero?
This is great storytelling and the art is spectacular. From the scene of the “swamps of serenity,” to the characters in the princess scene, to the final picture of Rya in all of her glory, all is beautiful. You can tell Bressan and Lucas put a lot of thought in every pencil stroke and color placement. Stunning! I cannot wait to see how Rya is going to put a wrench in Mikey and Lore’s plan. April, which is when the next issue is scheduled to be released, cannot come fast enough!