Image Comics 2016
Written, Coloured & Lettered by Nathan Fairbairn
Illustrated by Matt Smith
After their deadly first encounter with the alien threat, the surviving crusaders and heretics look for safety behind the walls of Montaillou, but as night falls, can they hold together long enough to face the devils outside their gates, or will fear and prejudice tear them apart from within?
After last issue I couldn’t wait to see just how these characters react once they got back to the keep. Brother Arnaud most of all in my opinion I really wanted him to eat a boat load of crow. However in true Church fashion what he saw was the cause of the girl and that fuels his righteousness once he’s safe within the walls. I understand that the Knights who stayed behind would have a hard time understanding that the villagers spoke the truth but seriously Arnaud is just the kind of man I would like to see succumb to these vile creatures from outer space. It’s a testament to the writing and characterisation from Nathan.
As infuriated as I am by Brother Arnaud and his holy righteousness it does fit the timeframe of when and where they are. Though the Knights did witness her bravery and skill in coming to their defense and should be speaking up for her. I would like to think that Arnaud and his ways are the reason that the alien creatures do what they do this issue and in my own mind i’m thinking i’m not that far off. After all they arrived second and aren’t well versed in covering their tracks or losing those that are tracking them.
I’m such a fan of this story I mean it’s crazy to mash up the aliens with these folks but considering they think them devils and haven’t even their ship yet well yeah it works incredibly well. Theo’s journey on being a Knight is going to be complete by the end of this story and should he maintain his demeanour then things will work out just fine for him. Though his actions this issue do showcase that he is very young and headstrong and not prone to thinking things out.
Matt’s interior work is really good. I like the creativity and imagination we see in bringing these creatures to life. The way he uses page layouts, angles, perspective and the limited use of backgrounds that he uses has a nice amount of detail. There are times I do wish he’d use more backgrounds or at least use the night effectively instead of leaving it white, as that negative space doesn’t seem quite right to my eye.
I feel like we’re in the setup phase still as Nathan is getting us introduced to these people and the time they live in. They have to encounter and fully realise what these creatures are truly capable of before they can have any hope of mounting a defense or going on the offensive. It’s got a natural flow to the story that’s really well done. It has the right amount of characterisation and action that really get the reader involved in what’s happening and invested in the characters so that we want to come back and keep rooting for those whom we care to survive.
A quirky genre mashup that is fun, weird and at times infuriating but it engages the mind and the senses beautifully.