Written by: Kurtis J. Wiebe
Art by: Owen Gieni
Letters by: Ryan Ferrier
Published by: Image Comics/ Shadowline
A new team of adventurers in town has The Queen’s wary for their friends. Yet there is bills to pay and the girls are off up a treacherous mountain to source ingredients for a local winery. Walk in the park? Maybe…
Not without good reason, this new story arc is going at a much slower pace than usual for this title. Due to the battle in the second story arc of Volume 1, Palisade has been left with a completely new status quo that Violet, Hannah, Dee, Betty and Braga must accustom themselves to upon their return. While Weibe’s comedy and action has made this more than palatable (as well as introducing several fun new characters), It is this issue where the story starts to gain momentum. Still this could be seen as the ground floor for this adventure. In many other books this would be intolerable but as always it’s the dialogue, characterisation and familial relationships that make this issue excellent even in its slower moments.
Again new series artist Owen Gieni’s sketchy inks and watercolour are perfect for this books illustrated fairytale look. His glowing graphic effects are used sparingly and highly effectively for spells and other magics. Also excellent are expressions, Some of Hannah’s awkward looks are especially brilliant here.
Also printed here from the web comics (and most likely set early in Volume 1) is the back-up tale “Whackball” with art by Max Dunbar and colours by Sweeney Boo, which sees Barry and Gary versus Sawyer and Orc Dave in a spirited game of Beach Volleyball.
While the main story may only seem to be beginning, this issue offers laughs, action, inventive new characters and a lot of intrigue going onwards. Oh and there’s a Bard, Did I mention the Bard?