Birthright #5 Review

Written by: Joshua Williamson

Art by: Andrei Bressan

Publisher: Image

Birthright is great, just great. I’m finding it difficult to find new ways to say this. Every issue absolutely floors me with just how every issue manages to be just as high quality as the last without any hiccups or quibbles. This issue is much more action packed that the last few, featuring a fight between Brennan and the first wizard he’s managed to hunt down. It’s a change of pace from the last few issues, but is every bit as awesome as the last few (who’d have guessed?) and is packed to bursting point with shocking developments as it is action.

I’m not going to lie, a was a little nervous to hearing this issue being billed as “the action packed issue”; so much of what I’ve enjoyed about this series has been how the characters are being affected by what’s happening and learning more about the lore of the world Brendan travelled to. Thankfully, there’s more to this issue than just punching (although the punching is also fantastic to look at). There’s a real sense of danger in this issue, as we begin to see some of the evil Brendan is capable of and learn more of what’s at stake and why he’s doing what he’s doing. There’s a lot of new developments that literally made me gasp. If you’ve been following this series then you’ll probably have a similar reaction to me, a lot of lies and hidden allegiances are starting to become know, and it’ll be interesting to see what happens when the fuse Williamson is lighting finally blows.

The supporting cast too receive some interesting developments in this issue. Williamson picks up some threads that were hinted at in issue one, particularly how the media reacted to Brenan’s disappearance, to provide some tension between his parents. I’m glad this angle is being played up again as it was one of the elements I felt was pretty shockingly grounded in the first issue and something not typically thought about in these kinds of stories.

Of course, what is always the highlight of this series is Bressan’s art, and this issue really allows him the chance to cut loose. So far, his brilliance has been showcased with stunning panoramic shots of beautiful landscapes, but here he focuses on the aforementioned big battle, which ends up looking terrific. He uses bigger panels and even a two page spread to make the action feel big and important. While it’s disappointing the fight is so short, limiting what Bressan is able to do, I would be complaining if the fight scene was overlong, so I’m glad they decided to focus on advancing the story father than relying on the art to sell the issue.

What else can I say? It’s really difficult to review this series as every issue just seems absolute perfect. I kind of wish Williamson and Bressan could slip up just once so I could have something more interesting to critique or talk about, but as is they’re knocking it out of the park every single issue. I’ve been getting friends on board with this series and they all agree it’s terrific, even the staff at my LCS have been recommending this book to customers as their first priority over some of the more well-known books from the big two. If that doesn’t speak to the books quality I don’t know what will. This is another fantastic issue packed with content and plot advancements making it an essential issue for fans of the series so far.