This week we check in on Joshua Williamson and Andrei Bressan’s Birthright, and dive into the second issue of Rick & Morty‘s brand new comic series!
Birthright #7 (Image Comics)
Image Comics’ Birthright is one of the best books on the stands, period. The Joshua Williamson and Andrei Bressan series absolutely nails that feeling of being a child and pretending to fight off orcs, goblins, and other monsters in the woods. The catch here though is that Mikey, the lead in Birthright, has actually fought goblins and other ghouls. At a young age, he wandered off and was transported to Terrenos, a mythical land filled with danger. Mikey was destined to be their savior, and returns to Earth. While he looks like a gigantic Conan the barbarian to his shocked family, he’s actually only been gone a year in Earth time…and has been possessed by the evil spirit he was destined to destroy.
This issue finds Mikey and his brother trying to locate a mystical set of knives that will bring them to the next wizard hiding on Earth. At the same time, a former ally of Mikey’s arrives on Earth and comes across the police officers who first started investigating Mikey’s disappearance. Also, Mikey’s mom Wendy, starts to try and piece together the story her son’s tales of Terrenos, and slowly starts to believe in them.
If I’m being a little too vague, it’s on purpose. Joshua Williamson’s story is best experienced from him directly. Like I said before, Williamson’s story perfectly captures that nostalgic feeling of playing in the woods, albeit with a dark twist. His scenes with Mikey and his brother feel extremely authentic, and when he changes gears and focuses on Wendy for a few pages, you can absolutely feel her despair and desperation to believe her son.
Birthright would not be the same book without artist Adrei Bressan. While it’s easy to say that the scenes on Terrenos are gorgeous due to his pencils, what’s really surprising is how beautiful the scenes on Earth are too. In fact, his work in the “real world” is actually even better than the stuff on Terrenos, and when that fantasy world starts bleeding into ours, Bressan’s work somehow becomes even better than it already was.
Birthright is an awesome series full of twists and surprises. It’s easily one of Image’s best titles, which is saying a lot from the company that also releases The Walking Dead and Saga. But Birthright is able to stand right alongside those two powerhouse indie titles, and deserves to be better known than it is. With one trade and two issues you could be caught up too, and experience one of the best titles on the stands.
Rick and Morty #2 (Oni Press)
Many times licensed comics don’t work. However, with Rick & Morty from Oni Press, we have an exception to the rule. The Zac Gorman and CJ Cannon comic series fits in perfectly with the demented Adult Swim cartoon, and scratches fans’ itch for new episodes.
After being sold out to intergalactic cops by Jerry, Rick and Morty are placed into a labyrinth prison (that Rick also happened to design). The two are quickly in a mad dash as they try to make their way to the different caches that Rick installed when he created the maze, and after finding nearly all of them filled with booze, they’re able to start to hatch a plan to bust out. Meanwhile, Summer tries to convince her mom to turn Morty’s now vacant room into a gym, and Jerry, well, Jerry accidentally lets an alien loose in the house.
Zac Gorman’s script reads exactly like an episode of Rick and Morty. It’s so well done that it’s impossible to not hear the character’s voices in your head while reading this comic. Gorman also does a great job of setting up the stakes for Rick and Morty, and creates a pretty hilarious cliffhanger for issue 3. CJ Cannon’s art is also a perfect fit with the property, although at times the character’s facial expressions look a little strange.
If you’re a fan of Rick & Morty, then you should absolutely be picking this series up. It may not appeal to people who’ve never seen an episode of the show before, but fans will devour it. The attention to detail in this series is fantastic, and it’s a great way to tide you over until season 2 is released.