By Patrick Wolf
Plague is a medieval fantasy epic that takes place in the 14th century during the height of the European bubonic plague. Like many other fantasy stories, this series immerses the world of humans with that of other fantasy creatures. However, unlike its predecessors, this series isn’t afraid to flash some gore and controversy. So far, I’ve read the first three issues, and I’m happy to say this is an excellent series and certainly worth picking up.
Plague kicks off when the last faction of the English Faeries is brutally murdered by a Christian Warbishop and his army of ‘demon slayers.' With the faerie, Dannan, as the sole survivor, she must now find a way off the isle before the Warbishop’s hounds get to her first. Teamed up with a young Friar and the prince of the Fey’s, Dannan agrees to help them find the Black Forest so that they may escape the island and hopefully find a way for the Fey people to reach the Mirrorlands.
A franchise like this often serves as a double-edged sword for my job as a critic. On the one hand, I love reading series as fine and polished as this one, while on the other hand, it’s hard to critique a story that’s virtually flawless. It’s kind of like comparing an amateur painting to the Mona Lisa. When analyzing the amateur’s work, the critic has a lot to say: the perspectives off, the line work’s too thick, the proportions are imbalanced, etc. But when analyzing the Mona Lisa, you’re speechless: there’s nothing to say in the face of perfection.
Now, while Plague is no Mona Lisa, it’s certainly executed well enough that there’s not much for me to say other than ‘It’s good. Buy it’. The characters are well-rounded and likable; the antagonists are both terrifying and sympathetic; the artwork is beautiful and appropriate; the goal is clear and easy to follow, etc., etc. Perhaps, one of the best elements of this story is the sense of ‘epicness’ you feel the moment you flip through the first few pages. You immediately get the feeling that this is going to be a long story with a lot of awesome adventures along the way.
But, while the journey is long, it isn’t gratuitous. Every issue advances the plot closer to its goal, and no issue feels like filler or random adventure. Also, the villains keep changing and the stakes keep rising. While the story begins with the Warbishop and his genocidal tendencies, by no means is he the only antagonist the heroes face. Without giving away too much, expect to see numerous battles with a Kraken, the Selkie, and Trolls!
As you can tell, I like this series, but find myself at a loss for words. All I can say is if you’re a fan of fantasy series and are tired of the mainstream books published by mainstream companies give this series a try. You can purchase all three issues on Comixology, and each issue goes for a measly $1.99. Personally, I enjoyed this series as much as Trolltooth Wars, and I can’t wait for the next installment.
Writer: Dennis MaGee Fallon & Jason Palmatier
Artist: Zach Brunner
Colorist: Zach Brunner
Letterer: Dave Sharpe
Publisher: AAM Markosia