Image Comics 2018
Written by Landry Q. Walker
Illustrated by Justin Greenwood
Coloured by Eric Jones
Lettered by Patrick Brosseau
After years of war, the lords of the West have fallen to a cruel king—a warlord from across the sea. Now the king has sent his most brutal knights to claim the remaining free provinces. These territories fall quickly—most agreeing to terms of peace rather than risk further war, as they have been left defenceless and weak after years of strife. Only one house remains—a small castle on the distant coast, whose ruler fell during the final battle.
Well we all know that I am fan of these books that are unique in the aspect that they combine what’s already been and create something new. Kings, castles and knights oh my it is the stuff where legends were made and we still dream of fighting dragons alongside wizards and those of the table round. So add into that a Spaghetti Western sensibility with a Game of Thrones harshness and suddenly it’s a brand new world. This is the kind of storytelling where Landry’s imagination and creativity as a storyteller is just as important and amazing as his ability to put the words to paper.
Landry is an excellent storyteller, see Danger Club for a prime example, and it’s always fun to see what he has in store. The way this book is structured is amazingly well done and from the silent opening with the feel of doom and gloom to the last page that has an almost righteous air to it this is the kind of book that will stay with you, leave you pondering and definitely desiring more. It has this element of mystery to it as well that I find unexpected and full of that certain something which it doesn’t really need but then adds something immeasurable.
I adore the fact that these two men, advisors to the now deceased Lord Aedon, talk of Lady Cathryn as if she were nothing more than a bargaining chip. The Bishop is a pig of a man and he’s one to really dislike as I see no redeeming qualities to him. He’s a bureaucrat and one from the Church therefore doubly despicable still with Chancery Bryce to see reason and logic and actually about the Lady and this town well there’s hope. The characterisation here is impeccable and it’s not hard to see who’s who and where they fit in and even the young Lady Cathryn we learn about through others and she’s going to be one to watch.
Justin’s work is another great thing to me, I’ve seen him on some great books from Stringers, Stumptown and even Ghost Town and to see him bring this unique style to these pages is utterly sensational. There are a number of pages where his work is what stands out and along with Eric really do more to tell and advance the story than you could imagine. The utilisation of the page layouts and how that continues the movement of the angles and perspective we see in the panels shows such a spectacular eye for storytelling. The outdoor scenes have less backgrounds being utilised and when we do see them they are splendid and make things seem much larger than they are. I love the way the varying weights of the linework are manipulated to show the attention detail or of the rain and how it all comes together.
This has all the intrigue that we saw in the Tudors as well as in Game of Thrones so the violence and politics go hand in hand and it’s so well weaved it’s almost mesmerising. You’ll definitely get swept up in how this is being told from the words to the visuals this will be your new guilty pleasure!