Written by: Joshua Williamson
Art by: Andrei Bressan
Pulished by: Image
Birthright is back and better than ever! After a two month break the series returns on top form as ever with an issue that effectively builds tension between the main cast while also teasing some really exciting events up ahead.
The short break has done Birthright well, coming back into this issue it feels a little slower paced than the intense action of the last, but it works incredibly well and allows for some effective character development and some real tension building. Williamson builds on some of the revelations from last issue, such as Brenan’s new mistrust of Mikey and makes it a real theme of this issue. There’s some really nice moments between the reunited brothers, so much so that the issue almost feels idyllic and relaxing, including some reminiscing from Mikey about his former life (which isn’t exactly how he remembers) and some brotherly bonding over sword fighting. Throughout it though there’s a weird bubbling sensation done cleverly and subtly, such as a strange scare on Mikey’s back. This all builds towards an incredible ending that completely shocked me and acted as a powerful resolution to the comic that points towards dark times ahead. This upturning of expectations is exactly what I’ve loved from the series so I’m glad to see it return in full force this issue. Aside from this, the slower pace also allows for Mikey’s parents to get some more time to interact which paints both characters in a better and more level headed light than they have been. We also see some cool teases for characters and events coming up in the next arc, leading to an issue that manages to be a perfect reintroduction after the short break and builds a good level of anticipation for upcoming issues.
Of course, it’d be a crime not to talk about the fantastic art of Andrei Bressan. He once again draws a beautiful issue with jaw dropping landscapes that complete the idyllic and relaxed pace for the most part of this issue. However, the highlight is our first ever look and The God King Lore, and man is he terrifying. After so much build up it’d be easy to be cynical and imagine the payoff would be a disappointment, but nope, Lore is one of the most instantly terrifying and intimidating comic villains in a long time. His domain looks absolutely hellish and is the most impressively gruesome Bressan has been. After spending so much time drawing beautiful scenery and heroic action I can’t wait to see more of this twisted, gruesome style Bressan has been hiding.
To conclude, Birthright is back with an issue that cleverly begins to rebuild that hype after reaching a very lofty position last arc. The top-notch quality remains however alongside everything that made the first arc fantastic. If you haven’t already, you have absolutely no excuse to not pick up the best comic on the stands. Get yourself down to your local comic store and pick up a copy of the trade alongside this newest issue, believe me there is nothing more deserving of your attention or money than this series.