Skybound has released its third installment of Birthright, it’s fantasy adventure comic centered on a boy taken to another world to become its hero and his return to his own world as a Conan-esque man on a mission. In the second issue we left off with Young Mikey escaping his captures/protectors in Terranos trying desperately to get back home. Back on Earth the older Mikey is flexing his muscles escaping the police station so that he may begin his quest to capture the five escaped Mages. Mikey’s family is again torn apart by the sudden return of their son, his father, Aaron and brother Brennan are pretty much sold on this being Mikey but his mother Wendy is not so certain.
Now that we are pretty much caught up, lets jump into issue three. It opens up with Mikey as a new born in his mothers arms and his father guessing what he will grow up to be, it’s a cute little scene that ends on Brennan saying Mikey will be his best friend. The scene was a nice touch considering the next page is in stark contrast to it with Mikey hacking policemen down with a fire sword with Brennan in tow. It is easy to tell that Mikey is far beyond battle tested as he boasts his strength cutting bullets and everything else out of his way. Mikey is someone that is easy to get lost in battle and bloodlust but luckily Brennan manages to get through to him before his kills an officer.
While all this is happening Mikey and Brennan’s parents are watching in shock and horror, Wendy can’t comprehend why Brennan is following this barbarian but again Aaron insists that it is Mikey he is following and that they need to support their son. Wendy is far from accepting any of this as she watches Mickey make it outside and dispatch police cars with ease. Aaron and Wendy finally catch up to them and Aaron is fully on board with Brennan to help Mikey escape and complete his quest. Wendy however is deafened to her son’s pleas by her disbelief and is left behind.
This whole opening sequence is great on every level, the art is great and the action is fast paced and impactful. Everything that Mikey does only supports his boasting and his title of Hero of Terranos. I will say that the quarreling between Aaron and Wendy was repetitive, I feel like Wendy is justified to be doubtful but there is a lot of evidence to support this crazy guys claim. She just watched a guy wield a fire sword and destroy a police station; she has to think that maybe his story is a little plausible. It felt a little too predictable that she was going to be left behind.
Back on Terranos, Young Mikey is trekking through the snow trying to get back to the woods where Rook abducted him. I don’t blame Mikey one bit for wanting to bail, if I was a 10 year old boy told I had to fight some all powerful warlock and save the world I would bail and cry for mommy and daddy too. Rya and Ansari quickly find him, which is good since the Razorbeast we got a glimpse of in issue 1 was stalking him. I will say that nothing moves slowly in this comic, as soon as he is saved another threat shows up in the form of Kallista The Pale rider, The God King Lore’s right hand.
The designs for all the characters in Terranos only get better with each new arrival. Kallista is a slender looking woman riding atop a massive looking beast called Moreck each with a matching helmet. The Razorbeast looks like a large red saber tooth tiger, however Kallista comments on how it is only a baby and quickly dispatches it without much effort. Once again as one-threat leaves another appears this time in the form of a very pissed off Razorbeast mother thinking that Mikey and his friends are the ones that killed its baby. The mother Razorbeast is a far more impressive beast, though still looking very much like a saber tooth tiger it is the size of a small castle.
As soon as things get really interesting in Terranos we are sent back to Earth for a heart to heart between Mikey and Brennan as they pack up for a fugitive life as quickly as possible. Though the information told are things we as readers already know the emotions that Mikey and Brennan express are very telling about where their minds are. We also get more information on the five mages that Mikey needs to hunt down and that he isn’t hunting all of them blindly across the globe.
Overall, the third issue of Birthright was exciting, a little less talk than in the previous two and certainly a lot more action. But the story was not delayed by this fact and things are moving forward at a brisk pace. I still find myself caring less about what happens on Earth and wanting to know more about Mikey’s journey in Terranos. I definitely want to know how they deal with the pissed off Momma Razorbeast next issue.
– Joseph Murillo