Review: Help Us! Great Warrior #5

When I read Help Us! Great Warrior #5, the only notes I took were “One more issue? Please?”, and “HOW DARE THEY.” The sign of a well-made comic indeed--leaving me wanting more, in the best possible way. With Hadiyah in bad shape after the last issue, Great Warrior reveals that there is only one way to make sure the Chaos Door is locked forever: with every demon on the other side. Given Great Warrior’s parentage, this proves a challenge for everyone.

The entire world of Help Us! Great Warrior doesn’t take up much space. There’s the Chaos Door, there’s this empty valley between some mountains where the gang has been fighting Great Warrior’s mother, and there’s wherever Great Warrior’s village is. It’s almost like Hyrule Field in Ocarina of Time: it’s intended to be this huge expanse, but you can ride a horse across it in like, under two minutes. The setting of the world has never been as important to the story as the mechanics: it’s a world of two halves, there is a door between the two halves, and the good/evil of the world are often personified into characters in the story.

Help-Us-Great-Warrior-#5Flores’ pacing belies her background in webcomics-based work. Each issue is a big chunk of a larger story, but she’s great at making sure that there are gags or big reveals every few pages to keep the readers interested the whole time. This issue is, as per my notes at the top of the story, light on gags (although, it wouldn’t be Help Us! Great Warrior without some gags), but it does a lot of good character work for a story that works in a more mythic structure. In a lot of earlier issues, the drama was light, and even for all the demons and such, you felt like things would be okay. This issue does away with that childish optimism in favor of a crisis moment that has got me super jazzed for the finale next issue.

My only gripe with this issue is a nitpicky one: towards the end of the issue [SPOILERS??], when people are getting sucked through the Chaos Door, I had a hard time tracking movement. Great Warrior’s mom is in this mass of demon villagers, and when they all get sucked in the same direction, it’s tough to tell that she’s moving in an opposite direction, pulling herself free. It didn’t super bug me, but it definitely did make me have to go back and reread to make sure I was getting everything.

As we move towards the final issue of the series, I’m pretty sure I know what’s going to happen, but I thoroughly enjoy living in this world; rather than being upset that I’m ahead of the plot, I’m loving watching the characters interact with each other. I’m mostly concerned that this series will be over after next month’s issue. I’d love nothing more than for Flores to do the ongoing adventures of Great Warrior for a decade, but I’m very excited to see what else she’s got up her sleeve.

Score: 4/5

Help Us! Great Warrior #5 Writer/Illustrator: Madeleine Flores Color Artist: Trillian Gunn Publisher: BOOM!/Boom Box! Price: $3.99 Release Date: 7/1/15 Format: Mini-Series; Print/Digital