From writer Joshua Williamson and artist Andrew Bressan comes the latest issue of the dark fantasy epic Birthright – my choice for Best New Comic Series of 2014. Check out our review of issue #7.
Snatched from his life by beings from another world, Mikey became a hero whose destiny was to save the land of Terrenos. A grown man hardened by battles with dragons, trolls, and evil mages, Mikey is back to save Earth from the same peril that threatened Terrenos in this series by Joshua Williamson (NAILBITER, GHOSTED) and Andrei Bressan that turns fantasy into reality.
We’ve slowly been witnessing Mikey’s fantastical past of Terrenos catch up with him in the present day as he relentlessly continues his mission to hunt down the rogue mages. Even though issue #7 is light on flashbacks, which bugged me at first because I love seeing Mikey as a kid learning the ropes as a warrior, it was cool seeing supporting characters getting a dose of Terrenos on their own. Our main character’s very angry and very pregnant winged ex takes flight in front of two police officers after one of them tries to shoot her – bad idea dude. This is one of the best panels of artwork yet for the series as Bressan once again elevates Birthright to new levels of awesome. It’s not often you see a warrior woman with wings sporting a fairly large baby bump — the imagery alone is unique to behold.
My favorite moment of the issue is a quiet one however, when we see Mikey’s mom reading through his journal and getting to the part where her son unsuccessfully tries to have his new company in Terrenos sing Happy Birthday for him but wishes that one day his real family will be able to if he ever sees them again. As a parent myself, this sequence was an emotional gut punch. Williamson’s writing was impactful and brilliantly presented because for the first time I actually felt for Mikey’s mother, who was a character I had troubles relating to in past issues.
The bulk of issue #7 sees Mikey and his brother Brennan stealing camp supplies as we see what I’m assuming will be the setup of a human villain encounter down the line and that aspect intrigues me. I have a feeling that when Mikey winds up slaying some humans in front of his brother that we’ll slowly begin to see Brennan have doubts for the first time as to Mikey’s intentions. However, maybe that won’t happen at all because the final page of this issue is one of the biggest shockers yet for the series and reminds me of why it can be so frustrating to read a comic series month to month. Cliffhangers are always awesome and this one is brutal. Williamson and Bressan continue to hammer out one of the finest series of 2015 with Birthright #7 — even if you aren’t a fantasy fan you have to pick this one up, because at it’s core, this series is not that – it’s something much more fascinating.