Story By: Matt Hawkins
Art By: Sang-Il Jeong
Cover By: Sang-Il Jeong
Variant Cover By: Linda Sejic
The finale of this opening arc of Tales of Honor wraps up the first phase of Matt Hawkins’ comic adaptation of the popular Honor Harrington novels.
After reviewing issue 4 and being really impressed with the great Space Opera series that Hawkins’ is quietly building I was anxious to see how this last issue ties everything together and sets the stage for the next arc. This issue however, slows things down a lot, whilst the end of issue 4 ended with a tense chase in the stars and massive ground battle taking place on the world below a lot of the focus of this issue takes place on Honor’s ship. This is purposeful and really works well within the narrative as Honor herself explains that a starship engagement is taking place over millions of miles with complex math and physics involved so it makes sense that the ship battle which takes place throughout this issue is a tense, slow affair. Hawkins’ though builds the tension really effectively as the chase is on with both ships battling for supremacy yet ramps up the action when the ships engage fully offering a really satisfying conclusion to the battle.
What we also see if Honor growing into the role of command. It feels that this first arc is her growing into the great commander that we know she will be and throughout this first arc she has learnt some very valuable skills within politics, command and policing. None more so than that of her crew, throughout this issue you finally see her realise that without her crew, she is nothing to quote the book “I learnt the most important lesion a captain can learn. The courage and character of your crew are far more important than the size of your ship.” This is what Hawkins’ does so well in all of his books is build character, from Aphrodite to Tales of Honor each character goes on a very distinct journey that you join in with from the very beginning, becoming invested in the characters’ lives from the world go.
Whilst in my review of the last issue I levelled some criticism of the art, a lot of what I found so jarring in the last issue seems to have disappeared. Again the space sections look so impressive they really do just jump off the page with lasers flaring when battle is joined is so visually stunning. Yet in the characters things have really improved, characters are now really expressive, losing a lot of the stiffness that they had in the previous issue. Instead of feeling like you were watching stills from a story board you feel once again that you are reading a comic and the urgency especially when Honor screams “Fire!” towards the climax all that urgency that was lost has now come back.
Tales of Honor 5 wraps the opening arc up really nicely, focusing mainly on Honor’s triumphs instead of Basilisk Station at large really makes you feel connected to the journey Honor has gone on yet allows you time to reflect on all that has happened that has bought us to this point. I am excited to see where this book goes and what struggles await Honor.
By Matt Deery