Rating: 5/5 – Perfectly Balancing Adventures in Two Different Worlds.
by ComicSpectrum reviewer Shawn Hoklas
Joshua Williamson seems to be on a creative roll lately. Writing the haunting and mysterious Ghosted, the serial killer hit Nailbiter, and now another new series from Image that combines fantasy and the everyday world in Birthright. Williamson is not only coming up with some great ideas, but he’s able to make them work with great storytelling and partnering with the right artists to give those ideas life. With Birthright, he may have created his best work to date in a story that will surprise you multiple times throughout this first issue, not only in the story’s twists and turns, but also in the fantastic art by Andrei Bressan.
Bressan’s art is gorgeous. Since this book alternates between the real word and the fantasy world of Terrenos, Bressan has a tough challenge to make both worlds just as visually appealing as the other. If the fantasy world were to look better than the real world, readers would prefer one over the other. That’s not the case here. Bressan makes both feel real and lived in as he fills the pages and panels with tons of detail. His character designs are great and although they feel a bit familiar to traditional fantasy-type characters, they still feel unique. Bressan also adds a heavy dose of emotion as he’s able to capture the right facial expressions for the scene, and during a particularly tragic moment, makes it all that more sad by showing it on the character’s faces. I can’t wait to see more of Bressan’s work throughout this series as it feels he’s just starting to scratch the surface of his and Williamson’s world building.
It’s tough not to spoil this issue, but there were two moments in the story that really surprised me and that’s refreshing. In the back of this issue Williamson talks about his love for movies like the Goonies or The NeverEnding Story and he always wondered how those kids would ever go back to living out their lives in normalcy after their adventures. The idea for this book came out of attempting to answer just that. That’s how Williamson is able to tell an engaging story on two fronts. We get to see a story that looks as though it will be a grand fantasy adventure, while also getting a story about family, kids and coping with tragedy. Each story is perfectly balanced throughout as we’re introduced to all the major characters, and how the events of this first issue have shaped their lives. This is a comic that should absolutely not be missed. I enjoyed each and every page and because of the surprising cliffhanger, I can’t wait for the next issue. Don’t miss out on what looks to be another amazing series from Image.
Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
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