-I'D SPOIL THAT FOR A DOLLAR-
Written by Joshua Williamson
Drawn by Andrei Bressan
Birthright is the story of the Rhodes family and their very long journey after one of their children disappears. After that child then reappears, as a full grown adult, things get a little crazy. Mikey has returned as a warrior from the land of Terrenos and though he tries to tell his family he is there to save them all from the invading army of the evil Lore, it turns out he's actually been infected by a Nevermind and is there to help Lore conquer. He escapes the authorities and is on his quest with his bigger (though with his time in Terrenos, he is now much bigger and older) brother, they come face to face with a Diviner.
In this issue we get a little side story like Mikey's mother meeting Rya (his winged companion from Terrenos and soon to be baby mama) and beginning to realize more about just what Mikey went through but the real story (as usual) lies with Mikey and Brennan as they face the spirit looking to cleanse Mikey. It tells Brennan that his brother is infected and it has to end it before it consumes them all. Brennan is reluctant but he has been seeing his brother deteriorate and feels that if this thing can cure him, he has to let it. As the Diviner begins, Mikey tries to fight as the Nevermind fights back from within him. In the end, Mikey gives in to the Diviner. He claims he wasn't forced into this and chose the dark path he is on. As the spirit is about to kill Mikey (for that is the only way to fully end the infection), Brennan won't let his brother die, grabs Mikey's Blades of the Forever Field and stabs the Diviner, killing it. Mikey is shocked that Brennan was deemed worthy to use the blades, says he's already feeling better and they all prepare to leave. But of course there has to be more to the story as the last page reveals. Speaking to the Nevermind, Mikey revels in the fact that he was right and that Brennan is very important. Turns out using the blades isn't all that great as the Nevermind concludes with Mikey that his brother is on the path to corruption and that he will be the perfect host for their God King Lore.
If you take one part Jumanji, one part Flight of the Navigator and mix it all together with D&D, you have Birthright. WIlliamson is creating a whole world here that is fascinating and exciting and dangerous around every corner. And the art of Bressan has been pretty stunning. The name wasn't familiar to me before this series but he seems perfect in the fantasy world and I will absolutely be watching him in the future (and hopefully on this book for a good while).
No offense to what DC and Marvel have been doing, but Image Comics have been putting out more and more amazing reads and if the big two aren't careful, they're gonna start finding that out the hard way.