Written by Everett Soares
Art by Brian Brinlee
This time, Humans, elves, orcs, cyborgs and bears… and magic mechs all meet the sky for some good, old-fashioned… elven politics?
The story picks up the evening after series one leaves off. Tobin and Shyni meet and shine some light on both characters’ back stories and how they’re secretly intertwined. The writer Soares does well in explaining why Tobin suddenly snaps at Shyni in series one and then showing both their upbringings, but he manages to leave just enough of Tobin’s history to use for future stories and to leave him with some of that good, old-fashioned mystery.
The overarching world plot this time around is a change in power in Elven royalty, one that seems to have an ominous air spreading throughout Valendor. And by ominous air, I mean magic mechs.
As the first series serves to introduce readers to the characters and the general feel of the world, this issue definitely throws everyone into the start of some political intrigue and warring tensions that will likely include some fun combat later on. Even with the first series said and done, this new issue one doesn’t require having read the prior issues and is a decent enough point to jump on board.
Not much action or actual piracy to speak of yet, and not much actually happens as most of the issue is back story and exposition. Still, this fantasy story is shaping up to have plenty of intrigue with already interesting characters, well suited with anyone who likes some swashbuckling with their D&D.
The art maintains the same black-and-white styling as the first series, but everything looks a bit more polished. The characters don’t appear as stiff or awkward as they do in series one. The characters and the backgrounds are all well shaded and textured. The wood is realistically grainy, the clothes are worn and weathered and even the people range from wrinkly and soft. And those not creeped out by Shyni’s tail will have plenty of eye candy.
There are some quality dips though, the occasional screw ups where it looks like artist Brinlee was in a rush. Particularly one panel where Shyni looks like a cross-eyed doofus. Just needs a tad better quality control and second looking to clean mistakes and add necessary touch ups.
Overall (Not an Average)
The book maintains the feel of the first series, and it’s setting up for a decent story. The back contains some neat ship line art and pin-up contributions as neat extras.
Overall (Not an Average) 8/10