Simon Spurrier, writer
Matias Bergara, art
Michael Doig, assist on colors
Jim Campbell, letter
The issue begins by telling the story of a pair who leave their current home in Thundervale to attack their enemy, a king named “Pilot.” The pair consists of the husband, an old magician referred to as a “Loony Wizard” that is easily distracted, and Serka, his warrior wife. The husband utilizes unconventional strategies to distract and create diversions while the wife uses her sword to go straight for her enemy’s throat. Despite the aggressive nature of the story, the narrative is about routine, the dangers of becoming stagnant, and holding on to the familiar. In the end, when it appears that Serkahas defeated Pilot, it is revealed that the enemy was an illusion. Her great quest to defeat Pilotis a myth, or as the book states: “The quest was their quest.” This issue ends as cryptic as it begins with the husband telling Serka, “We have to go.”
The story is hard to follow but the meaning the author wants to communicate is stated blatantly throughout the book. For example, statements, such as, “People cling to what they know,” and, “People can only hold on to the familiar for so long,” are stated. The story unfolds in these kinds of short skits, that are connected by the introduction of new set pieces or characters. The straightforward statement, like the ones quoted above, help keep the reader connected to what’s happening. However, I found myself asking throughout what just happened? A summary glance at the characters, their behaviors, and their stated goals was easy to follow. Ultimately, this story is about a husband wanting to be a hero, and a wife wanting to solve a big problem – essentially – which is very relatable and accessible as a narrative.
The art is the highlight of the story. The watercolor style, mixed with gorgeous landscapes, and cryptic images made for highly digestible imagery. The old wizard appears loony and wacky. The aggressive and focused wife is splattered in the blood of her enemies and carries a large intimidating sword. The enemies look evil and worthy of being annihilated. The pencil work is good, the coloring really supports the drawings by supporting the narratives: red equal death, blues, and yellows connected to magic, dark shadows surround the evil enemies.
Overall = 8/10
The story is full of twists like Pilot being the enemy and then not being the enemy, and finally becoming the representation of the enemy that manipulates the protagonists to pursue their goals for them. The motivations and goals of the protagonists are clear throughout even if the enemy’s motivation and goals shift and are less obvious. The fluid nature of the enemy makes for an interesting read and makes me want to stick with the story. I highly recommend picking this up if you are a fan of fantasy and post-apocalyptic survival stories.