Arcadia/Boom Studios 2015
Created by Trevor Crafts, Matthew Daley & Bruce Boxleitner
Written by Matthew Daley & Mairghread Scott
Illustrated by Carlos Magno
Coloured by Chris Blythe
Last issue Sander went home to check on his wife and child only to find the place had been ransacked and Lisel entering. After a terse reveal we pick up with the two of them discussing what’s been happening and that his family is in the underground. The conversation these two have is pretty darn powerful and Sander is a man who doesn’t like to depend on others but he’s got no choice here and he has to hope that Lizel knows what she’s doing and that information on who came took his family is correct. That and he has to go back and continue his infiltration from the inside.
Once back on board as Captain Orlin however things are going as easy for him as he would like. While yes Terna is helping him she’s still vulnerable to Mr. Sootoh’s machinations and supposed wrath over his suspicions that the Captain isn’t who he claims to be. Before Sootoh can really sink his teeth into the pair they are all interrupted by General Canden who isn’t happy that one of his men is being treated like this.
Oddly enough it seems that Sootoh is actually right about a few things though wrong about who he should be chasing down. Brother Pont is building himself a small army and his men have infiltrated the guard and as Sander spies on them and learns more than he thought possible about what’s happening we as readers begin to see the scope of his situation and now that he has two families relying on him keeping them alive makes the stakes all that much higher.
I’m amazed at the writing here the way it all seems to interconnect and weave together and somehow have placed Sander firmly in the middle of all and yet still able to do more good for either side should he decide which one is better for him, his family (s) and way of life. The unexpected turn of event with those he knows in roles he never thought possible and the meeting of the one person who can cease Sootoh’s incessant questioning along with all the information of the some real infiltrator’s in the guard make his position very precarious indeed.
What started out as this simple plan to infiltrate and seek revenge and strive for a better life has taken a turn where he’s going to be more valuable to whomever he pledges his allegiance to. It was already incredibly interesting and the characterization is superb but somehow it seems that this issue has kicked it all up a notch to a point I wasn’t aware it could get to. The crescendo is on the horizon and things are happening at a fast and furious pace for Sander and can he keep it all together to rescue his wife and son while keeping Orlin’s wife and child safe at the same time?
If you aren’t familiar with the standard of quality artwork Carlos does than you really need to get on board because what he’s able to do is truly breathtaking. His eye for detail and the attention he puts into the backgrounds, armour and faces are things that make this such a standout visually. He makes this world come to life and work in ways that are almost indescribable.
This is one of those stories that could be a series on any cable network willing to put in the time and effort to bring it to life as close to this story as possible. It’s captivating, interesting, full of drama, suspense and intrigue and the way it’s unfolding will keep you on the edge.