Mikey and Brennan finally reconnect and get a moment to grieve after all they’ve lost. The bombastic magical action scenes are matched with somber emotional beats.
Earth may have won the war against Terrenos, but it was not without casualties. Mikey and Brennan’s parents are trapped in that magical world and despite being the most powerful mage on Earth, Brennan can’t figure out how to get them back. Mikey blames his older brother for this, leading to a rift between them. That must be filled if they’re going to keep the planet safe from all the magical weapons and monsters left behind once the door between worlds was shut.
I’ve said it a million times, but it bears repeating. Birthright is about family. It’s a core principle of this series and that shines in a different way with this issue. Whereas before we saw a family dynamic between not just mother, father, and children, but also the extended members like Mikey and Brennan’s grandfather, and Mikey’s wife and daughter, this chapter focuses on the relationship between these two brothers.
Writer Joshua Williamson pens this fascinating look at these characters who have been through so much together. Despite their differences and the very different paths they’ve taken in life, they are still connected. They may drift apart, but at the end of the day, they’re still brothers and that’s a strong bond.
The focus of Birthright has been on Mikey for obvious reasons as this little boy grew up in another world to become this warrior, however Brennan has grown and matured quite a bit over the course of this series. While Mikey grew up at a normal pace in Terrenos, Brennan has had to do the same in a much shorter time, without necessarily having the maturity to deal with it properly.
Artist Andrei Bressan shows this well in an emotional moment between Mikey and Brennan. The two finally reconnect and the pain and anguish just pours out of them. While months have passed since the war ended, these two haven’t had that moment to grieve.
Of course, where Bressan always delivers is on the magical aspects of Birthright. There’s a big magical monster battle in the middle of this chapter and it absolutely shines. Bressan’s detail work is unparalleled and it’s only amplified by Adriano Lucas‘ colors. When someone taps into magic, the page comes alive with an electric energy, like they’re mainlining a whole new current of life and power.
Since Mikey never really got into magic, this is an area where Brennan can step up and take care of something. He can be the big brother, which is something he hasn’t been able to do for ages. When Mikey uses his mage powers, it’s like all his doubts and insecurities melt away. Letterer Pat Brosseau shows us a strong, confident young man here.
Birthright rockets towards its conclusion and despite the big magical battle between good and evil being over, it’s still delivering powerful stories with each issue. You’ll be pumping your fist in excitement from jaw-dropping action scenes one moment and then taking a deep breath for the more somber, personal beats the next. This combination has made Birthright a must-read month in and month out.