In Isola #7, Captain Rook and her companion, the Queen of Maar, try their best to continue to go unnoticed as they criss-cross this fantastical land where anything can happen and usually does. Coming across a seemingly abandoned quarry of some magnificent magnitude, Rook comes is in awe of a colossal statue of this world’s deity, Kaji. Offering a quick prayer up to this god, Rook and Queen Olwyn, come across a matriarchal community bereft of their children, snatched away by the Moro; the magical misty shape-shining tribe of whom Pring – Isola’s Gandalf – is one of their kind. And yet the Moro seem to be protecting the two travellers, so why would they capture children? Have they been abducted only to be transformed into shapeshifters themselves? And, for what purpose? Curiouser and curiouser.
It’s not an issue that has a lot to add to the ongoing hero’s journey to Isola, but it does bring the Moro back into focus. After all, the significance of animals – especially supernatural animals – cannot be ignored. Animals in Dream Literature (especially the growth of this literary trend in the Middle Ages) should not be ignored. Often they will guide the hero, as the fleet-footed fox that appears from time to time in dreams seems to be doing, and offer them some hope. Are the Moro an extension of this tradition, but sadly misunderstood by the many? In this fantasy world, those who are hybrids are of the same tribe, but seem to be able to offer up their abilities to others. Whether this can be considered a curse or a blessing depends on the individual I suppose, but I have a feeling we’re only beginning to scratch the surface of deeper and darker mysteries intrinsically linked to the Moro and the world of Maar. The Moro seem to have done more good than harm in this series so far.
Brenden Fletcher offers up a slow burn of a read but along the way he is building a world of wonders that we are only just beginning to come to grips with. The dangers are ramping up and Olwyn has done pretty well so far in escaping from trials and tribulations. With a little help from her friends. The partnership between Karl Kerschl and Msassyk continues to be a high mark in comic book artwork, as it paints us a sprawling, dangerous but beautiful world with breathtaking views. Each issue seems to offer up a different corner of Maar to explore alongside Rook and Olwyn and in doing so, Fletcher, Kerschl and Msassyk are creating a world that can be returned to time and again. A modern-day Middle-Earth with the potential for any number of different stories and characters to be explored should Fletcher, Kerschl and Msassyk even wish to return to this world. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves shall we? Let’s enjoy the unfolding epic we are currently following and together let’s find out more about the mysterious Moro and their links to Olwyn and the land.
Isola #7 is out now from Image Comics.