While the young hero, Malikai, is having his powers drained away by a group of enemies lead by Rainier, his allies are in the sky, fighting for their lives against a crazed Dragon.
As the situation grows more desperate, Mal unleashes his full power and incinerates his foes, before taking to the sky and, against the protests of his friends, destroying the Dragon Marigold as well. Rainier, the villain, is impressed while Mal’s friends scream at him for killing the Dragon they were trying to save. Mal flies off to think about how his power has changed him, while his allies go their separate ways.
What’s amazing to me is that this is the FIRST book of the series I have ever read, and yet, I had no trouble understanding what was going on. Perhaps it was because I knew going in that I was missing something. But I think it had more to do with the skilled writing, and the use of accepted “archetypes.” I may not know Malikai, Rainier or Jayden personally, but I am familiar with young heroes whose power weighs on them, cold and calculating masterminds, and backstabbing femme fatales.
The writing by J. T. Krul does a great job of “explaining” each character with a single line of dialog each, and the quick narration boxes from Mal allow you to catch on pretty quick. The story itself is an interesting one, complete with a large cast of heroes and villains, each one with their own personality and motivations. There seem to be a lot of factions here, all fighting for their own reasons. It’s that kind of diversity that makes this story so intriguing.
The character designs are detailed and impressive. No two characters look alike, and even the girls, who are all attractive, are each attractive in their own unique way, and don’t succumb to a homogenized “comic girl hot.” Macus To, also the artist on Red Robin, gives each character a body language all their own that further enhances the storytelling, again, making it just that much easier to get into the story mid-stream.
Like I said, I haven’t read the other issues, so I can’t comment on how well this one closes out this particular storyline. All I can say is that this would be a good ending for any kind of story.
The hero “wins” only to find that victory costs him the approval of his friends, and makes him question himself. The villain “loses” the battle, but seems to gain crucial insight that may help him win the war. And all the supporting characters return to their real lives, now that the adventure is over.
Overall, I have to say that I really enjoyed this single issue. I have very little doubt that reading the rest of the story would only enhance my appreciation of this one. If nothing else, now I have a good reason to cruise the back-issue bins at my local comic store.
A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING
|Great story and art make me wish I had been collecting all along||none|