Saturday, December 10, 2016

Birthright Volume 1: Homecoming (Joshua Williamson and Andrei Bressan, creators)

Birthright Volume 1: Homecoming
(The Birthright series)
Joshua Williamson and Andrei Bressan, creators
Fiction, YA Fantasy/Graphic Novel
**** (Good)

DESCRIPTION: The day young Mikey Rhodes disappeared was the day the family shattered. Many suspected his father, Aaron, of killing the boy and hiding the body... even his wife Wendy. Only Mike's older brother Brennan stuck by the broken man, refusing to give up hope. One year later, the FBI summons the Rhodes to their offices. A strange man, dressed and armed like some bizarre fantasy barbarian, was found by the highway... and, according to fingerprints, that bearded man is the boy Mikey. He claims he was abducted to a fantasy world to fulfill a prophecy by destroying an evil lord, and has returned to Earth to hunt down five mages who might let that evil take root on Earth - but is he telling the truth, or has he been corrupted by the very entity he was prophecized to destroy?

REVIEW: Birthright offers a nice twist on the usual "Earth kid gets whisked away to become a hero in another world" story, showing the devastation left behind as his family struggles to come to terms with his disappearance... and the changes that being forced into a warrior life can wreak on even the nicest boy. Deep within the heart of the battle-hardened and compromised man he has become, Mikey is still a little lost boy at heart who wants nothing more than to go home, and he's not about to let anything get in his way. Meanwhile, Aaron refuses to let this opportunity to reconnect with his son slip away, even if it means becoming a fugitive, and Brennan (once the older brother, now just a kid beside his Conan-like sibling) can't help falling in as an impromptu sidekick, still somehow hoping that his broken family can be mended... though even he begins to wonder if he truly recognizes Mikey anymore. Flashbacks show the young Mikey's journey and its inauspicious start in Terranos, introducing characters that look to come into play in future volumes. It's an interesting story, moving at a fair clip, with great artwork (that leans a little gory at times, as a warning to younger or more sensitive readers.) I'm looking forward to the next volume already - I'll have to see if Hoopla has it available yet.

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