[vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”14883″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_border” hover_effect=”img_hover_title” animation=”rda_flash”][vc_column_text] Writer: Jeremy Whitley
Art: Rosy Higgins & Ted Brandt
Colors: William Blankenship
Letterer: Justin Birch
Publisher: ACTION LAB ENTERTAINMENT (May 2016)
Raven and company are still being in the claws of Raven’s brothers, Crow and Magpie. Just when Ximena thinks the rest of the crew that are free aren’t enough to free Raven and their captive crewmates, Sunshine and many of our newer recruits prove her wrong … with explosive results. It leads to a fateful confrontation that doesn’t leave either side unscathed.
There are times when you read a book and can tell that the artists were having fun with the issue. It is clear this issue that Higgins, Brandt and Blankenship had a ball drawing it. Higgins and Brandt bring such wonderful energy into every detail of this issue that it is infectious. Between the strikingly powerful action to the intense, emotional moments that just pop out at readers, the art team really do put their best foot forward and surprise themselves here. From alligators coming at our captive vets to the explosive entrance of our neophyte crew, Higgins line work is superb giving the details while Brandt’s layouts and inks are really aggressive and catching to readers’ eyes. Blankenship’s colors continue to make consistent darker tones that has come to be a trademark with this book and works extremely well. The explosions are nice and bright. The characters all have a nice distinct shade to them that lets this hefty cast all stand out. Blankenship’s pallet works to the strengths of Higgins and Brandt, all of them bringing the best out of each other artistically.
Whitley does a pretty good job of giving something for the majority of his large cast while advancing characters and plot seamlessly. Whitley is truly a masterful writer, able to juggle this many characters while pushing forward the main plot without either really suffering. Whitley refines some of the chemistry between the crew with interesting interactions between Ximena and Sunshine, Katie and Melody, and the very caustic relationship between Raven and her brothers. We got to get Raven’s brothers get a bit more fleshed out. Whitley also put in the prep work for pirates vs. ninjas as we meet Crow’s and Magpie’s bodyguards. We get some very intelligent writing here as while the issue focuses on getting Raven out and Raven and her brothers,Whitley allows the event to advance the characters, which really is one of the best hallmarks of the writer and GREAT comic book stories. Characters are what engage the readers and makes them stay in their seats after all the flash and situations that bring the characters together. Every time I read something of Whitley’s, I get more and more impressed at the depth of his writing, his characterizations of his casts and the sheer fun that the book he constructs has. ALSO … the title of the story is “Have Fun Storming the Castle,” which is a famous quote from the cult classic 80s swashbuckling fantasy movie, The Princess Bride. AND I LOVE THAT AS WELL. For younger audience, they will just think the title is cool. For older audiences, they will laugh at the title and see the significance of it. Whitley clearly knows how to write for all ages extremely well.
There isn’t anything bad.
Whitley has built up to this confrontation for a while and the entire team of the book did NOT disappoint. There was great action. There was really strong character development. We see our characters all evolving and growing with each passing issue and the crew just gets better and better. The art was stellar, with really strong detail and sharp colors that really catches the reader’s eyes. Each moment was visually impactful, ascending the story from normal to exceptional. And Whitley continues to prove his mastery of writing characters that are fun, even in dark situations. Whitley ends one conflict hear while setting up major conflicts to come for Raven and her crew. And readers will love every minute of it.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][/vc_column][/vc_row]