Isola #5 marks the closing on the first chapter in this enthralling saga and leaves the reader with further questions, as any good series hoping to pick up gain a few months down the line should do. A re-humanised Olwyn, on the brink of death, is swept away by lover and loyal captain, Rook, before being transported into another realm of existence that may or may not be the fabled Isola that Rook has been seeking out all this time. Its an issue that once again builds on the fantasy world being created by Brenden Fletcher, Karl Kerschl and Msassyk, in which danger awaits any traveller just around the next bend in the river, or over the next horizon in the desert. The end results is a rich, realised world that I can’t wait to come back to when this series returns in January 2019.
This is an issue with passion, too. There are many quieter moments in which we feel Rook’s heartache over her queen’s demise, Olwyn’s own pain and anguish, and, ultimately, a moment of comfort before the coming challenges, tests and allies yet to come in this particular hero’s journey.
Through out this series, I have returned to the beauty that is Kerschl and Msassyk’s artwork. And, it’s to this work I turn one last time, for now. It truly is an amazingly beautiful book with almost painted colours added to Kerschl’s light, yet definitive line work. Of course, none of this would be possible without Fletcher’s input, and the team dynamics have created a book that seems as though it has emerged from the golden age of animation, as if it were some lost masterpiece, with a dash of manga around the edges, reminding us that this is very much a contemporary book.
If you haven’t bought it yet, then do look out for its inevitable collection. Hopefully in an oversized edition as Image do from time to time.
Isola #5 is currently available from Image Comics.