Written By: Mark London
Penciller: Michael Camelo
Inker: Michael Camelo
Lettering By: Miguel Angel Zapata
Cover Artist: Michael Camelo
Published By: Mad Cave Studios
I am back once again to review the next installment of Battlecats, with a look at Volume 2 of the saga. Seeing as it has been out for a few months, I will be doing a complete review of the first 4 issues that have been released thus far. To begin with, here’s a little info about the creators.
Battlecats was created by Mad Cave Studios, which is an independent publisher that resides in both Miami, Florida and Columbia. This group is comprised of a wide selection of very talented artists and creators. They are committed to bringing genre driven, high concept comic books to their readers with their own “Mad twist”. They strive to bring out the best action, story, characters and artwork with each and every issue.
I mean nothing explains it better than their motto.
Now back to Battlecats, where in Volume 1 we were introduced to the feline utopia of Valderia, its’ leader and his pride of cats, heroic warriors and their mission to serve their Lion God. The Royal Guard were known as the Battlecats, who were entrusted on a mission to defeat a dark creature that has been causing chaos. Having encountered the beast, a dark secret has been exposed. Having failed to carry out their mission as tasked, now the Battlecats must pay the price for their disobedience.
Volume 2: Issue 1
The Battlecats have fallen in disgrace with King Eramad III, after refusing to carry out his order to slay the Dire Beast. Instead they bring the creature into the kingdom and are now forced to battle against it yet again, but this time infront of Valderia’s citizens. It is only the King and the select members of his court, that know that this performance for its’ subjects, is infact a punishment for their heroes betrayal to the Lion God. In this issue we also see a flashback of how Kelthan and the King met, some ten years ago.
Meanwhile, Valadar and his Darkats have reached the hometown of the Battlecats exceptional archer- Kaleera. In this scenic town in Greenspyre, blood begins to run through the streets as an ultimatum is set.
Volume 2: Issue 2
Our Battlecats have survived their first trial and are now residing in a dungeon as punishment for their treason. As the Battlecats blame their leader for turning them all into traitors, Kelthan stands by his decision after uncovering the true identity of the Dire Beast – The former King of Valdaria: Eramad II.
We also discover why the magic wielder Vaela holds one of the marks of the Lion God. King Eramad III invites her into the sacred Gardens of Solitude, there they discuss her ancestry. Their peace is disturbed when a cloaked figure walks through the barrier, injuring the King and kidnapping an unconscious Vaela. This is the moment that starts a war that could end all peace in Valderia.
Volume 2: Issue 3
Valadar’s reason for seeking to destroy King Eramad III has been revealed, yet we still don’t know the full details of what happened between the two. Valadar’s dedication is to the Lizard God and to return to a time of conquering and strength for the kingdom. So far he has invaded and conquered many towns on his march to the Capital, as well as gaining soldiers, whose only choice is to surrender or die by his hand.
Back in the North Blade, King Eramad III condition worsens from the poisonous wound he sustained from his encounter with Valadar in the Gardens of Solitude, 2 months prior. In the rafters, he is followed by Artain, a feline who has only joined the Kings’ guard in the last month. Together they talk about Artains’ impression of the Capital and we discover how he was recruited/captured by the Battlecats. The following day, the Battecats take on their next trial, one of immense danger, a battle against the odds, a fight where one of their team will fall.
Volume 2: Issue 4
Vaela has fallen in the latest trial, lying beneath the decapitated bodies of the foes the Battlecats defeated. After regaining consciousness for just a brief moment, she collapses once again. Which leads us into a flashback of what happened to Vaela after Valadar kidnapped her from the Gardens of Solitude.
Valadar is over confident in the fact that he can take Vaelas’ mark and join it with his own, in order to gain the same great power as Eramad I. However an unknown power stops this from happening, as well as the arrival of the Battlecats to save their friend. It has yet to be explored what or who could have prevented this ritual from happening. Hopefully we will get the answer for this question within the last two issues of this volume.
Also in this issue, we see the battle between King Eramad III and the Umbra Raiders that invaded the home city of Lady Adastril, the Kings’ mate, with the events taking place ten years ago. A bloody battle that was fought to protect the pridelands from falling into chaos, which also led to the two felines fates being forever intertwined. Meanwhile in the present day, Valadar is getting ever closer to the Capital.
Now I know this has been a fairly long review and congratulations to you for reading this far! It is greatly appreciated. So Volume 2 of Battlecats is set to be 6 issues long, so we just have two more left now for this story. So far the visuals and storyline has been both exciting and gripping in moments. The only thing I wish was that each issue was double the length, as it always ends on such a cliffhanger! Fingers crossed there will be a Volume 3, 4, 5 etc.
For now you can try ordering these issues from your local independent comic shop or you can buy a digital issue from the Mad Cave Studios website below.