Benitez Publications 2016
Story & Script by Marcia Chen
Story & Pencils by Joe Benitez
Inks by Victor Llamas, Joe Weems, Livesay, Peter Guzman
Matt “Batt” Banning & Marco Galli
Colours by Studio F Mike Garcia
Letters by Comicraft’s Michael Heisler
The final question is answered: who will ultimately wield the power of the Wraithborn? The pulse-pounding finale is here as Valin makes a noble attempt to rescue Melanie... and finds himself face-to-face with Brijit and Kiara. The stakes have never been higher, the outcome never more tense. Now is the time when heroes are born...or die.
I’ve been enamoured with this series since issue one. I have the first four issues from the 2005 debut when it was published through Wildstorm so when I say that I mean it because it’s one heck of a lovely series in both words and visuals. I’ve passed that enamoured stage however and gone into full blown love of it and it’s my fervent hope that now with Redux complete there will be new adventures for Melanie and Zoe.
Marcia writes an incredible story as she’s able to weave the power of the Wraithborn and those who seek it into the transformation of a scared and lonely girl’s life story. It’s very much akin to a coming of age tale in the supernatural world. We see friends, allies, villains and even those who don’t quite fit into just one category be introduced here. They flesh out this world and showcase that there really are things to be afraid of in the dark.
Joe’s pencils are so incredibly detailed and intricate and the inking and colouring behind them really do them justice. That’s not easy to do either when the pencils look like this either so the team has done more than an exceptional job with bringing this to life. From the in your face action to the subtle use of backgrounds and all the little details in between, see armour-facial expressions-folds of clothing on the body, to the creativity and imagination used to bring the hounds to life or make the armour look almost victorian you won’t find work more seasoned and gorgeous than this.
This may be a six issue series and complete with the origin of Melanie becoming the Wraithborn but it’s far from the end of her story. There’s still a whole new world for her to explore, training to witness her undergo as well as embracing this life and her new friends. I’m hoping that we’ll get to see these things since the characterization and storytelling here are so good. I mean this is what Freeform (see ABC Family) wanted with some of their heroine based tv shows but weren’t able to achieve.
That this series still holds up as well as it does 11 years later is a testament to how good the story is. It doesn’t lose anything it only gains my respect for how timeless the coming of age story can be truly be. With a fantastic female lead character and interesting developed supporting cast surrounded by unbelievable interior artwork this what comics should be about.