BIRTHRIGHT #5 Leaves You Craving More – Comic Review
Birthright is the must-read fantasy title on comic shop shelves. Since Birthright is now five issues deep, you now have five reasons to pick up this series. It’s been that good! Issue five pumps up the interest by adding more to Mikey’s post-adventure adventure, and when you see the last page in issue five, it will knock you back harder than a Razorbeast! It’s amazing this series keeps doing that and with just five issues available.
In Birthright, writer Joshua Williamson (Ghosted, Nailbiter) has decided to follow the aftermath of an epic fantasy adventure, one of the best approaches to modern fantasy to date. It also captures how a family deals with loss and the ways people change, the bad and ugly side. If you haven’t been reading, I’ll get you up to speed.
While having a day out with dear ol’ dad, Mikey, a young boy, is kidnapped to the world of Terrenos and proclaimed to be the destined hero to liberate the land of the evil God King Lore. Missing without a trace, his family falls apart and a year after his disappearance Mikey returns as a full-grown man and warrior–his purpose, to hunt down five wizards taking refuge in our world. From there, you have interesting flashbacks building the world of Terrenos and its residents, Mikey’s road to becoming a warrior, and the current mission slowly unraveling the details on how and why Mikey returned to Earth. Issue five brings us to the first battle with a wizard and the end of the first arc.
Williamson has an incredible handle on the world he has given us, and he’s basically telling two stories at once. With that, Williamson easily displays his mastery of hitting the right beats for each issue and continues it here. He manages to squeeze each element that makes Birthright great into this issue: action, drama, character introductions, world-building, conspiracy, revelations and a fantastic cliffhanger. Something is always happening to progress the plot or develop the characters. Storytelling is to the point and exposition is seamlessly sewn into progression. The story never seems to drag its feet.
Giving Birthright extra life is artist and co-creator Andrei Bressan and colorist Adriano Lucas. Bressan’s fantastic with character design and a great action scene artist. Another talent is his ability to believably present two worlds within one comic and not feel disconnected. Everything feels real and possible. There is an amazing moment with Rook, young Mikey’s lead escort, that is beautifully done in this issue. Also, the introduction of a new character looks gorgeous. To top it off, the last page is the definition of badass and Bressan nails this single page spread.
Birthright #5 continues the adventure with excellent pacing between its two stories and ends with one of the best cliffhangers in recent memory. Williamson’s blend of fantasy, action and drama is a fantastic ride. The magical, fantasy action of Terrenos occurring on Earth in this issue is pulled off wonderfully, successfully maintaining suspension of disbelief. This issue’s great story beats will keep readers looking forward in anticipation and will lock in the future readers who trade-wait*.
Published by Image Comics – Skybound
Created by Joshua Williamson & Andrei Bressan
Written by Joshua Williamson
Art by Andrei Bressan
Colors by Adriano Lucas
Letters by Pat Brosseau
*In case you’re not sure of the meaning, some comic readers wait for story arcs to be collected as trade paperback or hardcover format to start reading a series.