By Dustin Cabeal
What has made Battlecats standout and be a rich story to read is the backstory. At first, it might have seemed daunting to read, but it was a smart way to introduce the different elements of the story that are now all coming into play.
With the last issue there was a bit of a cliffhanger, but now we have the reveal right at the beginning of the story. Which sucks for me because I’m not going to reveal it. It plays heavily into the backstory above and sees our lead character decide against killing the beast they were sent to end. Instead, they wrap him up and bring him home. There are of course consequences to these actions but fear not because there’s plenty of setup for the main villain of the story who has his own evil Battlecats and has a massive army to go with them.
The pacing is steady on this issue as it’s split; half with the good guys and half with the bad guys. The latter part is the most important aspect of the series because the villain had yet to be developed. It’s kind of a cheap pop showing how strong they are and evil, but hey, sometimes that’s the best way to build up a villain. The dialogue is still strong and has a natural flow to it. The exposition fits with the story comes across as necessary rather than a cheat to give the reader information. Again, the world feels lived in, and the long history makes it a vibrant setting to visit.
The artwork continues to be detailed and clean. The action is easy to follow and pretty damn brutal. It’s not too brutal, but it’s like Mortal Kombat brutal. It’ll enrage your mom, but you’ll be like, “I’ve seen worse.” The different designs are explored and amplify the fact that there are different races in this story and that it plays into the world. It’s not just different cat people, but different ways of life which makes the Battlecats a unifying team.
Battlecats #5 is the end of the first book. It has a nice setup for the series to return to, and I will be looking forward to reading what’s next. I will say that reading all five issues at once it probably a better reading experience than just issue by issue. It has a graphic novel feel to it, which a lot of comics do, but unlike other monthly corporate books, it actually has a better pacing for a graphic novel. Hopefully, that makes sense if not just pick it up in trade and figure it out.
Writer: Mark London
Artist: Michael Camelo
Colorist: Julian Gonzalez
Letterers: Miguel Zapata, Christian Ospina
Publisher: Mad Cave Studios