Comic Review: Birthright issues #4 and #5

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Like my Walking Dead reviews I have fallen behind a bit on my reviews of Skybound’s Birthright series, again I am sorry about that I will be on top of it much better. In issue #3 we left off with Mikey, Brennan and Aaron running from the FBI as Mikey leads them on his mission to capture the five escaped Mages from Terranos. Back in Young Mikey’s timeline on Terranos, he, Rya and Shavos are attacked by the monstrous Razorbeast think they killed its young. Needless to say that the issue left on a great cliffhanger, I am sure that most of you that are reading this series have already read through issue #4 and probably #5. However, I would like to still to go over some of them and my excitement for how the series is developing.

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ISSUE #4

Issue #4 picks up with Wendy and the FBI a step behind Mikey and the others and already at each other’s throats. Wendy comments on how the family dynamic is already returning to normal with Aaron and the boys running off somewhere and her left behind to clean up their mess. To me, it sounds like Wendy is starting to think that this barbarian could quite possibly be her missing son. Though nothing really happens with Mikey, Brennan and Aaron other than Mikey getting more Earth-like clothes and Aaron getting rid of his cell phone, they do lead us back to Young Mikey’s encounter with the mother Razorbeast.

 

Right off the bat, its easy to tell that a Razorbeast isn’t something to be trifled with. Like I said last time it’s the size of a small castle and in its first panel in Issue #4 it is tearing chunks of forest out of the ground chasing Mikey, Rya and Shavo. Mikey, being the only one that can’t fly is left behind but Shavo goes back to save him only to have them both swatted out of the air. Rya does come back and saves the two boys from being swallowed whole but its obvious they are only delaying the inevitable. Rya too is swatted out of the sky and accepts her fate as she stares down the Razorbeast, but to everyone’s surprise Mikey steps in front of her wielding a sword.

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Though that is the last panel we see back in Terranos, it is a great sequence that shows how brave all three of the children are and especially Mikey who has been so resistant to taking up the title of Hero. It was nice to see a different Mikey from the last three issues and see him develop for the right reasons, which is contradicting who he somehow becomes. It will be interesting to see how he develops from here on out.

 

The rest of the issue takes place back on Earth with Mikey, Aaron, and Brennan trying to figure out their next move. While they stop to get gas and some food at a gas station Mikey loses his temper at Aaron’s relaxed attitude. What was nice about this sequence was when the cashier commented on the outburst, birthright 4-2she believed that Mikey was a soldier returning from war. Aaron was confused by it but if you think about it its true Mikey is a soldier that spent his entire life fighting in a war. Though the sequence was insignificant it was a nice way to comment of Mikey’s emotional state even if it may not be accurate.

 

The issue moves rather quickly from there, Mikey finds a sign of the first mage he is loving for, Ward the Betrayer, is near by. Mikey charges in after him with Brennan and Aaron chasing close behind, they run straight into a trap in the form of an enchanted forest. Once they get through them with Aaron rushing ahead to encounter Ward in the form of an old man. Ward can smell Terranos on Mikey who then reveals who he is and but Ward senses something in him quickly transforms into a floating otherworldly mage set on ending Mikey right then and there.

 

Even though I thought it was a bit convenient that Mikey suddenly finds a clue to Ward it was nice to see the story jump forward on the Earth side of things. Overall the issue was fun and it moved everything forward at a nice pace.

 

ISSUE #5

 

Birthright-5-Cover-e1423488771124Issue #5 picks up with Young Mikey standing his ground against the mother Razorbeast about to kill him and the injured Rya, at the last moment they are saved by Rook who slices the Razorbeast’s head in two. Mikey stands in shock as he and the area around him are covered in blood and gore. He screams at Rook about killing the Razorbeast and says he cant kill, that nothing could ever make him kill. Like any young boy who witnesses death for the first time it is hard to comprehend but to image killing, I’m sure is even harder for Mikey.

 

The end of the Razorbeast is met with older Mikey fighting Ward the Destroyer who is using his magic plants to gain the upper hand. While Mikey deals with Ward, Brennan runs off with Aaron chasing after him saying they need to help his brother. While Brennan and Aaron are away Ward has the upper hand and says he can sense King Lore within him and that he can help Mikey rid himself of it but Mikey blinded by his desire to be with his family again refuses. Brennan and Aaron return with Mikey’s sword which Ward recognizes immediately and Mikey doesn’t waste a second using its power to overpower Ward and his plants.

 

During the Fight though Brennan and Aaron are caught in the middle and Aaron is injured while protecting Brennan. Ward pleads with Mikey to let him help but Mikey still refuses, Ward knows that Mikey’s family is the reason he returned to Earth so he moves his attention to Brennan. Mikey quickly gets between them and runs Ward through with his sword, which Brennan and Aaron are completely shocked by. It is interesting to see Mikey so quick and determined to kill after just hearing his young self-saying he could never kill anything. It only makes me want to know more about young Mikey’s journey through Terranos.

birthright 5-4A good twist comes when Brennan runs to Ward in his disbelief at Mikey’s actions, Ward in his dying words warns Brennan and his brother isn’t what he seems and shows Brennan the spirit latched to Mikey. Brennan seems confused by what he sees but keeps it a secret from Mikey and Aaron, before the issue is pushed any further Ward falls to ashes and the sound of sirens echo in the night. Wendy and the FBI finally catch up to them but only Aaron is left because he was hurt. Wendy lashes out at Aaron but it does no good because he doesn’t know where Mikey and Brennan are going, he is also sold that both of his sons are heroes and they are trying to save the world.

 

Revelations are made also back in Terranos with Young Mikey, as he, Rya, Shavos, and Rook take a breath after dealing with the Razorbeast. Though we saw Mikey take a stand against the Razorbeast, we got to see a glimpse of who he is to become, Mikey was still not ready to accept it. But after some time to think and he accepts that he may never return home he decides to accept and try and become the Hero of Prophecy that everyone believes him to be. Rook also sweetens the idea for Mikey by mentioning that the Hero marries a princess.

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Back on Earth Brennan and Mikey are on the run and need to figure out their next move now that the other mages will be alerted to Mikey’s presence by Wards death. Lore’s spirit questions Brennan’s suspicions but Mikey reassured him that people on Earth see only what they want to see but if Brennan becomes a problem he will deal with it. Lore’s spirit also hints that Mikey needs his family members to locate the other Mages. Even with all the revelations and how far the story has come the biggest surprise is on the final page. Rya suddenly appears on Earth a full grown adult…pregnant and searching for the daddy.

 

Now just about everything in this issue caught my interest and makes me excited for the next issue, the story is getting crazy on all fronts and both stories are finally becoming interesting. The last twist with a pregnant Rya was my favorite twist especially since Mikey supposedly married a princess. Either way, this comic is becoming more and more intriguing and I only get more excited about it. If you haven’t jumped on board with this series yet I definitely would because it is only going to get better.

 

-Joseph Murillo