Aspen Comics 2015
Written by J.T. Krul
Penciled by V. Ken Marion
Inked by Mark Roslan
Coloured by Juan Fernandez
Lettered by Josh Reed
Ara has returned—and has left more than her homeland behind, as her journey brings her to sea along with Boro and his band of pirates. However, what new wonders—and dangers--await Ara on their next stop? And will she be able to survive the experience? The world of Jirni explodes into uncharted territory as Ara’s epic story continues!
What I really like about this is that if you haven’t read the first installment of Jirni well A. shame on you and B. you don’t have to have in order to enjoy this. New arc, new reader friendly and that’s a huge bonus when putting out a new volume. J.T. really is quite the talented writer and while I immensely enjoyed his run on Green Arrow I think he really shines here working on characters he gets to build from the ground up.
V. Ken, Mark and Juan;s interiors work superbly alongside J.T.’s words. The ship, the characters and even the new species we’re introduced to this issue all have these remarkable and distinct looks to them that make them instantly recognizable. Not to mention the hues in the water or the cargo they pick up all of it combine to really set this series apart. On a side note if you go to conventions and V.Ken happens to be there I suggest you get something from him he’s able to do anyone at all and the stuff i’ve gotten from him is some of my favorite stuff.
There’s something really nice happening here in Ara and Boro’s relationship and no I don’t mean a romantic one, though i’m guessing Boro would jump at the chance to bed her. No the banter and conversations they have show us deeper side to them as they explore what makes the other one tick. They aren’t afraid of saying what they want to to each other and taking what they hear and either clarifying or correcting the other’s assumption. It’s this kind of frank and honest writing that has so much appeal to a reader. You don’t see with them and the other crew members, Boro being Captain and all, though Ara is rather blunt and to the point many times so this grudging kind of respect and liking for the other comes across incredibly well and has more meaning to it.
I do have to admit I was more than a tad curious when they arrived at this black rock jutting up from the sea and the offer Boro made his crew about working this job and coming along. There’s a nice sense of trepidation here and the reveal is rather remarkable to behold and the symmetry between writing and artwork is once again so powerfully done. What I found myself really enjoying about this was the fact that Ara gets to see firsthand a different view of the world and how it works. Harsh and unforgiving at times and the little ones, baby bugs, who work the mines they’ve come to trade for has more than one purpose here. They are used to demonstrate the nature of the pirates and humans as well as the way the Tykthas society works and it’s all with a mutual respect and fear.
If this is your first exposure to Jirni you’re in for a treat if you are a returning fan it’s just a continuation of Ara’s journey as she discovers more about the world she lives in. Deadly, beautiful and full of contradictions this is a world you like to get lost in but would never willing visit.
My only complaint is when it comes to Ara’s inner dialogue. I like her boxes where we see how she thinks and takes in all this but the colouring at times makes reading it harder than necessary as if the writing is too small for the strong colour inside the box.