Zenescope Entertainment 2005
Written by Pat Shand
Illustrated by David Lorenzo Riveiro
Coloured by Erick Arciniega
As a new year begins at Arcane Acre, a new student joins the fold. Lance du Lac is a promising future Realm Knight from Wonderland, but the other students suspect there’s something Lance is not telling them. Meanwhile, while searching for information about Bloody Bones, Shang discovers a new power awakening across the country.
With series featuring kids learning to use and control their abilities in short supply these days this run of the series has been incredibly fun to see. We need to see more of these kids and their adventures and a spin-off full time monthly wouldn’t be a bad thing to see happen. Of course if this series continues to focus on them then i’m okay with that too. There really is so much potential here with the next generation of the Zenescope Universe and the way Pat has been introducing us to them as if through trial by fire well it makes me excited to see what’s still to come.
Previously Shang discovered a young lady with immense power and this issue is her introduction. I have to admit it’s terribly well done and her ability interesting as is the visage she takes on when she uses her power. Why is it that when kids with powers and abilities seem to have such strained and unfortunate upbringings? Still Mary is a delightful character with a background ripe for this kind of stuff. With her family from Mexico it’s nice to see that her powers originate from what I see as local legend. Dia De La Muerta more specifically.
Still she’s a kid and with that kind of power and no control she’s easily taken and then taken advantage of. Of course her unique ability well it lends itself to the darker side should she succumb to that and being alone, terrified and under a maniacs control well it would be easy for her to let it consume her.
Alongside all this there’s still the ramifications of the boys smoking dreamroot. Wiglaf started freaking out and seeing things when he smoked it. Now it’s time for them to come clean and deal with all this and we learn the surprising truth about the new kid. Well Wiglaf never did understand why he was there and part hopes that this dreamroot helped awaken something in him that proves he has talents of his own to be a part of this school. After all he saw that crazy flying scary thing and while he may it’s a hallucination it’s real and he could be the key to stopping it when it comes back.
Any fan of Avengers Academy or the New X-Men will be fans of this part of the series. It’s remarkably fun, fresh and full of interesting characters. Not to mention Pat’s characterization, story advancement and feel for the setting make this equally on par with any of the aforementioned series. This is what shaping the next generation should be like, uptight teachers and kids thinking they know more than they do working together and at odds with each to tell some amazing coming of age experiences.
David and Erick’s work on the interiors is pretty blasted fantastic too. From the creative revealed power of the new kid, Lance, to the extremely beautiful visage of Mary when she’s fully powered up. Plus there are some nice attentions to detail in the backgrounds, and the other things we see in this issue, Viven Muertos.
This is why I love Zenescope they continue to surprise with their offerings and show their creators have their pulse on what the public needs.