Oni Press 2017
By Ted Naifeh
Lettered by Aditya Bidikar
The Cult of Uhlume is no more, and the city of Umber nurses its wounds, as do the reluctant heroes who saved it. Trauma and tragedy have left their mark on Emerane, the lowly barmaid. But when Asps target the city's Alderman, as well as its champion, the Furie, she finds herself donning the mantle of the Night once again, and coming to their defense -- whether she's ready or not.
So now that the last adventure is over and the group has kind of gone its separate ways we see how time has started to work its cruel magic. Ted continues to impress me and make me that staunch kind of fan of his work here. Because while it’s got the characters I love how he writes this, as those heroes have already kind of been forgotten or thought of as myths now since they aren’t a traveling band of heroes continuing to vanquish evil. It’s not only a contemporary look at the idea of out of sight out of mind but it’s the reality that your only noticed when in the spotlight.
I like how we see a few characters here as things start off with the Magus who seems to have fallen on hard times. He’s doing more of the bard thing trying to tell his story of how he and the Night brought down the flying beast for coin. On top one minute in the gutters the next that’s how things go sometimes. To then go to the saloon where tales of the Night are told, as she serves them in her guise as barmaid where we see her wishing to be left alone. Or is there something else going on with her and what we see here?
The characterisation remains strong, wonderfully done and full of life and zest of the characters we see and meet. He truly has this gift for storytelling and it’s not just through the words. The interior artwork is deceptively simple. By that I mean it’s only looks simple when in reality the skill level needed to make it look this way is impressive. The way page layouts are used through angles and perspective are extremely well done. The utilisation of backgrounds and the attention to detail that we see is really very strongly presented.
What Ted does so nicely here is remind of us what happened in Season One and then take us to where the characters are now as he sets up the next adventure. The real question is will they all reunite and come to the aid of The Night as she defends the Furie who discovered she wasn’t a villain but a hero to be respected? Can she get past her own current demons after what went down and find a way to rise up once again and the be the champion her city so desperately needs?
With some of the strongest most interest characterisation around and still giving off the feel that this is a campaign Ted and his friends currently play brought expertly to life this continues to be one hell of a read. I had almost forgot how much I looked forward to this series till I read this issue. It’s nice to know that Ted and Oni are going to be doing this for as long as there are stories to tell!