Written by: Joshua Williamson
Art by: Andrei Bressan
So last month’s review of Birthright ended up being just me gushing for about 500 words over how good it was. Well this month’s issue is just as strong as the previous one so apologies in advance to anyone who doesn’t enjoy that sort of thing, but Birthright just really is that good.
What is impressing most about this series is how well it’s developing issue to issue, the pacing feels absolutely perfect. Seeing Mikey and Brenan begin to bond is actually rather sweet and bridges the gap between the mundane and the magical really well. The scene in particular with the two boys in Mikey’s old bedroom really tugged at my heart strings and brought a lot of emotional weight to the series. The most interesting relationship for me however was between Mikey and his Dad Aaron; seeing how much Aaron cares for his son is admirable and usually would make it really easy for the audience to root for him, though Williamson cleverly adds a few twists to this which make his actions more questionable. Aaron’s willingness to buy into this massive, bearded man’s tale of being is son is actually rather questionable, and the actions he performs such as abandoning his wife seems stranger the more you think about it. Bressan’s art also subtly shows how dangerous Aaron may be becoming, something about him just looks a little unhinged making me feel uncomfortable. It’s an excellent use of showing how great art can subtly reveal more of the story.
The two storylines are also beginning to intertwine quite well in the book, with both still managing to highly entertain me. Bringing some of the more mythical lore into the present day storyline is a great way to seamlessly blend the story and keep us focused on our goal while simultaneously expanding the scope. Over in the flashbacks, young Mikey is starting to develop really well as a character and I really liked his actions in this issue, which felt believable for a kid his age. His attempts to find his way home similarly tugged at my heartstrings and reminded me that, at the end of the day, he’s just a kid who must be going through a pretty traumatic experience. Williamson’s ability to ground the story with real emotion while keeping the fun mythical elements is a true achievement.
How is it possible that month after month Bressan manages to pump out some of the highest quality art in the industry? Bressan’s art is draw droppingly good and there were so many moments when I had to just stop and drink in the absolute beauty of what I was witnessing. I feel absolutely in love with the pages featuring young Mikey wading through the snow covered woods and then was absolutely stunned with the two-page spread of a humongous monster. There is not enough hyperbolic language in the English vocabulary to describe how good Bressan’s art is, you’ll just have to check the book out for yourself and see what you’ve been missing.
I did it again didn’t I? I cannot stress enough how good this series is, I absolutely love, love, LOVE every issue of Birthright that comes out. We’re only three issues in and it’s already one of the best series I’ve read all year. If Williamson and Bressan can keep up this momentum then we may be looking at something truly special. I encourage you once more, do yourself a favour and check out this book, it’s the best decision you’ll make all year.