by Joshua Williamson, Andrei Bressan and Adriano Lucas
After a short hiatus, the high fantasy series is back to bring readers along for more violence, deception and excitement. Birthright #11 picks up just moments after the thrilling conclusion of the previous arc. Now that Brennan has taken care of The Diviner, it appears that the young boy has been effectively convinced of the tales he has been told. But before they venture any further, Brennan wants some answers from the warrior and the book presents another fantastic adventure from Terrenos.
Growing older now, these flashbacks are moving along the timeline of Mikey’s life in Terrenos. The boy has grown into his teen years and here is faced with a terrible choice: save the one, or the many? Williamson does an excellent job crafting the narrative of this tale that begins to show readers how someone pure of heart and well-intentioned can start to have issues with the side for which he is meant to fight. When he, Rook, and Rya come across a town, they learn of a prophecy and that Kalista has taken matters into her own hands to ensure it be fulfilled. Mikey, thinking of his family, decides to save this one family rather than focus on the mission and the allegiances he must keep. Williamson continues to shift the retelling of this event between the actual adventure of the story being told by Mikey in present day. This certainly adds a level of dynamics to the issue, while also showcasing just how The Nevermind is slowly pulling Brennan to its side.
Meanwhile, Andrei Bressan and Adriano Lucas do an incredible job of bringing this new story to life through wonderful panels and sequences. The world of Terrenos is bleak and violent and the color palette adopted for this world is wildly different from the way that Earth’s terrain and presentation appear. The artists provide a sense of scale in depicting the areas, the dragons and the contrasted size of the would-be hero. When Mikey moves towards the cliffs in hopes of protecting the girl, the book pulls out, showing the child scaling the side of a massive mountain. Bressan’s perspective for this panel is an excellent reminder to the audience of the age of Mikey in this story, bringing real weight to the burden he continues to bear. The final act of the issue is quite strong and Mikey is overwhelmed by a horde of beings seeking to tear him apart along with the girl. The creators really do a magnificent job with the sequence, keeping tensions high.
It continues to be a question of intent and degrees with each story told in this series. As Mikey works to persuade and warp the allegiance of his brother, readers continually have to question the purpose of these tales, how truthful they are, and ultimately, what has really happened to the savior to send him down this dark path. The issue has one last tease up its sleeve before ending for the month, but its enough to add an entirely new dynamic to the plot of this series. Birthright #11 is a somewhat contained issue as it affects the momentum of the book, but an important one for its characters.
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