This issue is priceless in many ways (excuse the pun, but it’s true). It plays to many character tropes and societal views while also playing against stereotypes as well. The back and forth is really a treat to anyone paying attention, but if you’re just here for the action and adventure you won’t be disappointed either. In fact there is a pretty big reveal in this issue that I won’t be talking about further, but it was unexpected at this stage of the story that’s for sure. The issue picks up right where the last issue left as Adrienne has begun climbing her oldest sister’s tower to rescue her, only to find her walking about freely below her. After Adrienne falls they begin discussing the situation in a hilarious sequence of events that follows Angelica throughout the small village dedicated to her and Adrienne and Bedelia following behind. It’s funny because Angelica walks through taking whatever she wants while Bedelia is scolded or charged for the same objects. Here’s where the stereotypes are reinforced as the people treat Bedelia different because she’s not as “pretty” as Angelica, but in a lot of ways Angelica has accepted her role and allows them to take care of her since she can’t do anything else. She may be pretty and use that to her advantage, but she’s not weak. The conversation is cut short as the bounty hunter knight that wears a lion’s head finally catches up to the girls. He and Adrienne begin to fight, while on the other side of the story our King continues to investigate the “death” of his wife.
This was a charming issue as always. I enjoy that this series seeks out all the stereotypes it can and exposes them, but doesn’t necessarily say that their bad or disprove them. Instead they’re used to further the story. The writing is very sharp and the dialog is witty and realistic. In a rare turn of events I’ve run out things to say about the writing. It’s just a damn good series.
The art on the other hand gives me plenty to talk about as influenced by manga and animation in many ways in this issue. The most notable is Bedelia’s reactions to how she’s being treated and the reactions of the people she’s dealing with. My personal favorite was the look on her face as she’s charged money for an apple; her eye’s become big and watery and her look is pathetic in general. Then there was the shape changing wolves; the daughter of the leader looked very Elfquest inspired personally, but it worked with the story. The action sequences were easy to follow and didn’t eat up a lot of pages in the process which was nice.
This is definitely one of if not the best all-ages titles currently published. If you have a child old enough to enjoy it then I wouldn’t hesitate to get it for them. For me, I just really enjoy this series and the reveal/plot point in this issue is pretty big. I’m looking forward to the conclusion to this arc and hope that the next one is right behind it.
Writer: Jeremy Whitley
Artist: Emily Martin
Publisher: Action Lab Entertainment
Release Date: 5/29/13