Writer: Kyle Puttkammer
Art: Marcus Williams & Ryan Sellers
Colors: Omaka Schultz
Letterer: Briana Higgins
Publisher: ACTION LAB ENTERTAINMENT (February 2016)
It starts with an introduction of a new Herocat named, Bandit. Bandit was checking out the Regal Empire Enterprise on a mission for the government. It is there that he gets the first vestiges of proof of the Crow King’s plan. Meanwhile, in a dream, Belle had a conversation to Ace’s dead owner …who warned her of trouble to come. The warning comes true as Bandit reaches the Herocats to gain their help … which reveals that he’s Cassie’s brother. While Midnight and Ace are suspect of Bandit, Cassie and Belle both vouch for him and the team goes into action. The 7 cat team goes to face off the Crow King’s minions as they try to bring the monarch to Earth … yet terrible things happen and this adventure proves to hold the whole Earth in the balance.
Williams, Sellers and Schultz have a ball with the saga and the art reflects it. There is some much detail and so many different things drawn that it makes the book that much more spectacular. There is great amount of innovative panel work from Williams and Sellers that really catches the eye while they do an amazing job making all the creatures, cat, human, crow and more look distinct. The colors from Schultz really bring out the best of Williams and Sellers’ work. The various backgrounds and characters in the book, it would be daunting on many artists, but the clean line work and the solid inks easily brings to life the dreamscapes and characters within these pages. The final battle itself is stunning, with some really awesome panel work and coloring, making it a wonder to behold.
Puttkammer does a really good job with the Crow King Saga. His normal one in done writing is still somewhat seen within the pages, while still making the three parter hold firm. Puttkammer does a great job introducing Bandit, giving him a sense of importance and personality right away. The cat is so charming that I believe that readers, like Cassie and Belle, will be smitten by this new hero. Puttkammer does give Rocket and Rocco get a bit more shine than what they normally get, allowing those characters to feel more authentic. The Crow King was a menance from the word go and Puttkammer does a great job building up to the final battle and reveal of the Crow King himself. I also give Puttkammer credit for using the plot devices of a dreamscape so well. The last two issues of the Crow King Saga develed into the distinct personalities of our heroes … save for Midnight. And while I thought at first that Midnight was forgotten, Puttkammer does intentionally keep Midnight to the side … which is all well and good considering he has his own solo miniseries. The dialogue was really good and Puttkammer leaves little wasted here.
There was a lot of great stuff in the Crow King Saga. Yet, and this might just be because of my own comic book experience, but I was expecting at least a 6 issue story. While the Crow King Saga was really good, I feel like the fact that it was only 3 parts and not longer stopped it from being great. Puttkammer could have spent more time developing Crow King as a threat, doing more set up for the “dreamscape” thing, have more character interplay in the dreamscape with the humanized Herocats as well as Bandit in general. I am not saying the story isn’t complete, cause it is. It just feels like the Saga could have very well done better with more parts. Plus, the first part feels a little disjointed compared to parts 2 and 3. The story could have gone any way after that introduction issue with Bandit. That was my own gripe. For a saga, it just seemed too quick.
Despite the short length and the missed opportunities, the Crow King Saga was really good. We got to see more development of most of the team. We got to see a new Herocat who is quite charismatic. We got to see a bit more introspective of our heroes. And we had a very powerful villain that the team came together to fight. The art was some of the best from Williams and Sellers to date and it was a fun ride.