Markosia Comics 2017
Written by Dennis MaGee Fallon & Jason Palmatier
Illustrated by Zach Brunner
Lettered by Dave Sharpe
Our heroes are pursued through the English Channel after Moray calls on the power of the Ark of the Covenant to spread pestilence across England. Meanwhile, in the cold North Sea, ancient magic awakens the legendary Kraken, forcing the selkies of Iceland to come to Robb's aid. But it's “out of the frying pan and into the fire" when old feuds reawaken between Tegg, a Scottish spirit warrior, and the trolls of Norway - it's a fight to the death in the Nordic underworld!
This is one of those series that you forget about until it comes out and then seeing that first page everything rushes back to you. Then suddenly you are back in this age where man rules, well correction the Church rules, and the creatures of myth are being systematically wiped out. The Plague that the Church has unleashed to cleanse the Earth of all non-believers at least that’s how it looks to me. Only no on counted on two elves and Robb to be on the run together throwing a monkey wrench into the plans. Moray a diligent and devout man of the church who’s mission is one he will not waver from is a fanatic in the worst possible way of the word.
Should the Church ever get the real Ark of the Covenant I could see them trying to use it in this exact way. While that’s not something that realistically could happen the thought of it is enough to send the mind reeling. The guys have really crafted something here that while based in a version of reality is also fraught with the kind of danger that makes for good copy. This is a world we could see how the supernatural creatures were extinguished by an entity afraid of being disproved. It’s a wonderful look at something real and fantasy at the same time.
Zach’s work on the interiors here is superb! His style appears to effortlessly flow across the pages and panels. The use of angles and perspective here are marvellous to see and along with the page layouts really showcase a wonderfully strong eye for storytelling. Then there is the use of backgrounds which are simple yet powerful and do much to expand the way we see this story. Plus there is a creativity and imagination on display in bringing the fantastical to life which blows me away and that full page with the Kraken busting up a ship yeah beautiful, stunning and a complete and utter wow moment that makes you appreciate the work he produces.
As their journey takes them further inland and they must contend with the other races of myth things continue to be perilous for our weary travellers. With the Selkie’s not wanting to leave the oceans and claiming the war they are fighting is not one that they feel they should be concerned with the trio moves ever forward.
The story’s structure is so nice to see, the ebb & flow and the transitions from location to location is incredibly smooth. There is an ease to the way the story reads and that’s very important to our enjoyment of the events unfolding. It also allows for some amazing characterisation and as a reader this is when we begin to wonder when Tegg is going to accept Robb as a person, friend and ally. Tegg’s mistrust of him and his kind is understandable but then the lesson to be learned here is that there are good and bad people regardless of where they come from and who they are.
There is such wonderful and strong storytelling going on here. This is what the magic of storytelling is capable of doing, entertaining and teaching or reminding us what we’ve always known. It takes all kinds of folks to make the world a wondrous place.