Here they be dragons, wizards, skeleton soldiers, swords, sorcery and a flying winged man. Yes, it is fantasy time again with the usual cast of characters and creatures all getting a run out. Oh, did I mention there is a prophecy?
Emerane has infiltrated the Tower of Uhlume and along with the Bard and his crew discovered that rather than troves of treasure to be shared, there were the bony hordes of skeleton army let loose, whose only goal is smite the city of all life. Only one hope remains, the necromancer can save them all, but if Emerane fails to find him, the city that she once looked down on will fall.
Oni Press have a diverse catalogue of books, which allows for a variety of creators to get their works out in print (of digital depending on your choice). Here, writer/illustrator Ted Naifeh gets to tell this final chapter which concludes this first book arc. Not having been privy to “what has gone before”, I am a bit of a loss as to who is who and the various interactions between the characters. Having gone through the book, I can safely say that I have not been inspired to trawl the back issues bins to actually find out.
Taking the writing first, I find most fantasy type of affairs to be quite samey. In that respect, this book doesn’t disappoint. Still Naifeh tries hard and there are a few humorous parts, mostly veiled threats. I hope that these are consistent with how the characters have been shown in the previous issues, which at least shows that Naifeh is trying to breathe new life into some pretty bog standard characters.
The art fairs a little better, going for look that reminds me of the old Gargoyles cartoon from more than a few years ago. The characters remain consistent throughout, even if at times it looks like the inking was done with a Crayola. The colors work well in the book, with the reds and oranges of battle giving way to more sombre tones as Emerane strives to survive and save the city. It is not often I mention the lettering of a book, but Aditya Bidikar does a great job with an “olde English” font which not only fits the story but also sets the scene before you even take in the art or read the dialogue.
As I have said many times before, fantasy books are not my thing. Still for those to whom this book will appeal, I am glad that there are creators like Naifeh and Bidikar who still fly the flag for this genre.
Writing – 2 Stars
Art – 2.5 Stars
Lettering – 3 Stars
- Written by Ted Naifeh
Art by Ted Naifeh
Publisher: Oni Press