22 PAGE REVIEW: "KANTARA Issue 4"

By: Michael Radosti (Writer), Chris Campana (Artist), Ronald Wybraniec (Colorist), Scott Shriver (Inker)

Story:

From the inside cover (complete with awesome art by Jason Lenox): 

After his village was sacked and his father killed, young Ris was brought back, by Captain Gormack, to the Kalakyah, Lord Orem’s keep. There, Lord Orem tortured Ris for information, desperate to learn how Ris was able to use magic to save himself.

Three years later, Ris finally gave in and agreed to help Lord Orem in his quest to find the True Book of III, an ancient tome, that grants its owner the power to rewrite history...

Review:

Feel free to check out my review of the first three issues HERE 

One issue I had with the first three issues was the lack of a strong female protagonist. Or, for that matter, any real female representation at all in the story. Issue number 4 goes a long way to rectify that issue, focusing the entire issue on a new female protagonist. 

The new character Serna is an extraordinary fighter, and manages a feat that few warrior women seem to be able to manage in a fantasy setting... She is actually mostly covered. That's right, we are offered up a heroine in a fantasy setting that doesn't strut around in the stereotypical chain mail bikini! Sure, she still has the comic book proportions, but I think we have taken a good step forward.

This issue also offers up a good bit of action, showcasing our new heroine's fancy skills, while also helping to move the overarching plot forward. It manages to balance on that fine line between action and character development, without ever leaning too far to one side. A very commendable thing, and one that gives me a lot of hope for the future of this series.  

Another fun little bit, is the continued usage of their created language, that was first defined in the opening of issue number 3. A language that comes complete with a pronunciation guide, and a series of specialized characters. Granted, there is no glossary of what the words mean, so there is no translation guide, however, having a fully thought out language is a wonderful Tolkein-esque touch that my inner geek appreciates immensely.  

As with the previous issues, the art is great, offering up a colorful world that pops off the page. The characters look distinct, and the various races are easily identified. The battle scenes have a real sense of motion, using a mixture of clothing, hair, and speed lines to emphasize the motion, and make it feel more cinematic. Not to mention a well-executed flashback around about page 20... Very well done all around.

Final Thoughts:

The comic just continues to get better and better, and I find myself looking forward to issue 5 with quite a bit of anticipation. I also look forward to the day that they offer us a dictionary of their language, but I give that one a long while before it happens. This issue improves, and expands upon the previous issues in a way that goes beyond my wildest expectations. Definitely worth picking up.

22 Pages Grade: Definitely an A

Purchase your own copy at: The Wyrlwynd Homepage