Review: An Epic War Of The Worlds Begins In ‘Birthright #41’

by James Ferguson

The barrier between Earth and Terrenos has been destroyed and Lore has ridden in with an army of supernatural monsters to decimate humanity. The devastation he’s created in a single week is insane. We don’t know for sure how many are dead, but it has to be in the thousands judging by the chaos unleashed. It’s almost as if Lore has been planning this for ages. At long last, Lore’s complicated history is revealed along with his connection to our world.

We’ll get to Lore’s backstory in a moment. I want to take a second to acknowledge the jaw-dropping SIX page (That’s right, six page!) spread that opens Birthright #41. Artist Andrei Bressan and colorist Adriano Lucas showcased the vast array of monsters and violence coming from Lore’s attack in this massive image that is nothing short of impressive. I spent so much time poring over these pages, marveling at the variety of creatures on display. The level of detail is astonishing. The more I look at them, the more intricacies I uncover.
This is an awesome way to open a book, especially with how the previous issue left off. You’re thrown right into the heat of battle before the brakes are pumped and we dig into Lore’s history. If we had started with Lore’s flashbacks, it would not have nearly as much impact. This is terrific pacing. Writer Joshua Williamson is an expert with this kind of storytelling.

Birthright #41 sheds an interesting light on Lore’s youth and how closely it mirrors that of Mikey’s. It examines the idea of story, legend, and myth and how a destiny can be manufactured when it is needed the most. It’s an intriguing concept that definitely requires some extra time to mull over, however it doesn’t detract from the epic nature of this tale. Instead, it raises it to new heights.
Just in case that opening six-page spread wasn’t enough to knock your socks off, just wait until you see some of the other creatures Bressan has in store for you in this issue. There’s a deformed witch monster with at least ten baby arms and a turtle shell that I’m going to be seeing in my nightmares for some time.

Lucas controls the tone of each scene with deft precision, bringing in darker colors to coincide with an ominous appearance and lightening the page when there are glimmers of hope. The one constant throughout Birthright is how electric magic looks. It pops with a crackling energy to the point where you almost have to shield your eyes.
Letterer Pat Brosseau matches the look and feel of these new and frightening creatures with some creepy word balloons. They convey an unnatural voice that could be a mix of nails on a chalkboard and unsettling whispers in the woods.

Birthright has been an incredible experience so far and we’re preparing for the big finale. This is the beginning of the penultimate arc and it’s not just aiming for the rafters. It’s shooting for the stars. The creative team is pulling out all the stops and delivering some of the best stuff in comics right now. This book is incredible from beginning to end.
Birthright #41 from Image Comics & Skybound Entertainment is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.

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