If you don’t buy this series then you don’t deserve to call yourself a comic book reader. I’m not trying to sound like a pompous comic snob, but this series has everything that a reader of comics could/should enjoy. If it was booze it would be the finest scotch; food, it would be the juiciest filet mignon found in any fine dining establishment. If it were a soft drink… it would probably be a cold Mountain Dew in a can on the hottest of days. Yeah that last one sucked. In all seriousness though… this is a fantastic series and it has all of the things that make reading comics worthwhile and fun. The issue starts with three Native Americans approaching an empty campsite. As they get closer, Barek appears from behind. The leader of the group asks how fast he thinks he is considering its three on one, but Barek tells him that he’s not looking for trouble… he’s looking for Skybreaker. The leader signals to his man in the tree to stop targeting Barek and he agrees to take him right to Skybreaker.
The story then cuts over to Skybreaker as he’s listening to the Chief of the tribe Shappa as he talks about spiritual healing. They briefly talk about how Skybreaker got his name and how it was Shappa that gave it to him. He doesn’t know why the tribe that he betrayed is allowing him to live and even more helping in his revenge, but he doesn’t care so much as he’s not denied.
The story then cuts over to Mr. Cutter, the most poetic character in the entire series, as he talks to the town doctor. He asks why a learned man is in such a town and after the Doctor’s brief explanation, Cutter begins an amazing exposition about power and control.
While this series is slow to getting to the actual revenge that is being promised, I’m actually thankful for that. I’m not even worried that the buildup is going to lead to disappointment because the characters and plot are so fantastic. This issue is mostly conversations and each one is better than the last. The revenge can take it’s time because I’m enjoying this world far too much.
Moreci does a fantastic job with the dialog and through it the characters become more and more fleshed out. Skybreaker is still a bit of a mystery, but we’re slowly being given little pieces of the puzzle and it’s exciting to have that introduced slowly. Aside from the terrific dialog, the plot developments in this issue are important to the series and definitely the other shoe dropping in one case. There’s an unlikely alliance and a big reveal that are worth the price of purchase alone.
As much as Moreci brings it with the writing, Zucker gives it right back with the art. Since there are so many conversations it’s up to Zucker to make them interesting. For instance, during Cutter and the Doctor’s scene, both men are practically absent from the scene as we watch a bar fight break out between his men and members of the Calvary. The action is great and the all black & white art continues to be the right fit for the series.
This is definitely one of Monkey Brain’s best series and I’m ashamed that I forgot it when making my “Best of” list last month. For only three dollars you can buy the entire series thus far and that’s incredible. It’s worth every penny and I’m not joking when I say that every comic fan should be reading it and if you’re not then I have to ask if you’re really a comic fan.
Writer: Michael Moreci
Artist: Drew Zuker
Publisher: Monkey Brain Comics
Price: $ .99
Release Date: 7/10/13