Scout Comics 2019
Created by Richard Rivera & Alex Lobato
Written by Richard Rivera
Illustrated by Clara Meath
Coloured by Liezl Buenaventura
Lettered by Jaymes Reed
Bard and Joy have been captured by a new mysterious sect! Where do their overall loyalties lie and what is their ultimate agenda? Bard quickly develops an unexpected mentor relationship that threatens to come between our heroes. With the monks' caravan flanked by the Shadow King's Guardsmen, it doesn't look good for our heroes.
The journey these kids are on is getting more and more interesting with each new issue to come out. Though to be honest I am a little surprised we haven’t seen what’s happening at home while they’ve been gone, their folks must have noticed they’re missing by now. Still there are times when we are reminded that they are just kids and this is one those issues that reminds us spectacularly of that fact. Joy might like to think she’s more mature than Bard is but no she’s still a teenager and has all the same mood swings and issues on full display.
This leads me into the characterisation that we’re seeing. I am thoroughly enjoying that we get to see and meet new people and have their personalities feel as if they’ve been fleshed out ahead of time, prior to our seeing them or meeting them for the first time. Doesn’t matter if they are going to be around for a while or just throwaways. This helps us see not only the kind of people they are, how they can use words to manipulate situations and people but also it shows us about the people in this city and how we would view it before visiting it. It builds the town with no names reputation and I feel that is as impressive as all get out, to be able to turn the town into a character that’s just as alive as the people.
There are a few things going on here that surprised me and I have to say that those surprises were not only well timed but they were beautifully done. I hadn’t seen them coming actually and when there’s so much more than meets the eye going on and hidden secrets, plans and agenda’s start being revealed you begin to realise the size and scope of the layers that exist within these pages.
The interiors here are gorgeous and stunning to see. The way that this linework is utilised through it’s varying weights so they can create strong bold lines or these delicate thin lines to that reveal such attention is beautifully done. It kills me that backgrounds are hit or miss though because when they are used they are used so incredibly well, and when they aren’t it’s a let down. To see so much blank areas when the people in them are so incredibly well rendered—well you get the picture. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show a very talented eye for storytelling. The colour work is sensational and I love seeing the way light sources create the shading in play and those times where it’s almost like looking at either highlights or some strong colour gradation. Particular attention paid to the way Bard sees the root system is a job well done.
Trials and tribulations, friends and enemies there are so many different things going on here and even with Joy involved in that mix. The moment she hid her plan with the Storyteller she became someone whose own reasons are now suspect, at least in my eyes. Personal feelings, those that involve romance and facing inadequate attention leave Bard to the mercy of these Monks who are taking them to the Shadow King. Every single thing we are seeing here is done for a reason and I cannot stop overthinking everything I have seen thus far. That my friends is the power of good strong storytelling!