Oni Press 2016
By Ted Naifeh
Inside the Tower of Uhlume, Emerane and the others make their way to the treasure room. Along they way they see things they wish they hadn’t: a group of worshippers being bathed in light from the “Eye of Uhlume,” as well as believers who are transformed into skull-headed, undead warriors. The treasure room they find empty—save for a decrepit old man imprisoned within. Then, they’re surrounded by the cult of Uhlume and their undead army. Emerane risks capture to save the imprisoned man, and she and the others make it out by way of an underwater passage. When they emerge outside the Tower, they find the Furie, waiting for them. For Emerane.
This issue really delves into some intense characterisation as well as the aftermath of being used and betrayed. Before all that happens however they have to face off with the Umber Knight. I’m constantly pleasantly surprised by what Ted is doing here. For a group that was put together basically on the fly and who haven’t been together that long they certainly have bonded through their experience and come to each other’s aid nicely.
I’m also a fan of what Ted is doing with the aftermath of the theft in regard to the rest of the people well okay the Order of Uhulme. Well okay at least those in charge. I like seeing that at least one thinks that because he’s there he’s above everyone else, in the faith of course, and that his will supersede the rule of the land. Isn’t that just like an organised religion to have that one man who thinks he is the religion. I like it because it expands the world and the angles from which our budding band of heroes are going to have to face now.
I have to say the mix of intricate work on the backgrounds, in the clothing and the way we see these religious folks is marvelous. There’s the proper church attire that is mixed with Roman or Greek aspects while residing in this whole Middle Eastern architecture and it’s amazing to witness. I really enjoy Ted’s eye for storytelling as he uses page layouts with their angles and perspective so nicely. Plus he’s doing everything here so what we see is exactly what he intends for maximum impact and I cannot stress enough how important that is when it comes to storytelling.
So what’s next for this rather eclectic band of adventurers? That’s the real question isn’t it do they stay in touch and go after the man who brought them together and seek revenge? Do they turn to one another for help or support in other ways? We see some of that here and that Ted leaves a whole lot wide open for us to interpret and speculate on is fantastic. It really does make you want to know, which ensure coming back again. Coming back again should be a no-brainer by this point as the story really has everything you need to enjoy it.
There really something so classic about this. You see the evolution of the characters and much like anyone who has done tabletop RPG games you find that more time you spend among them the more it all seems so natural to forge the bonds of friendship. Ted captures in this series so beautifully that essence of gaming and translates it to the comics medium.