Writers: Brenden Fletcher, Karl Kerschl / Artist: Karl Kerschl, Mssasyk / Image Comics
Isola continues as Rook and Queen Olwyn travel east to a land that Rook believes to exist, but we’re not so sure. Like a lot of fantasy reading, much of the fun here is beginning to come from the map as we flesh out the sandbox-style terrain they’re traveling. Fitting enough, some of the most beautiful scenes of their travels would surely feel at home in a historical fiction adventure game, something out Prince of Persia or God of War. Your eye almost scans for ledges to climb or paths to take.
When Rook runs into an old acquaintance, we learn more about the world they live in and what people are doing to survive. We also get a sense of the Queen’s whereabouts being widely secret, the status of her brother (that plays into a bigger picture), and some idea of what Rook’s life was like in the Queen’s guard before shit turned sour some time ago. That backstory will continue to develop and inform the importance of both Rook’s travels and the existence of Isola.
This’ll continue to be a slow burn, but the introduction of new characters, places, and creatures are enough to keep this introduction phase interesting as the plot is revealed. Not to mention the artwork — it’s beautiful enough to admire without reading a single word. In fact, I suggest you read it a second time just for the purpose. From the blues of a tiger’s stripes, to the backdrop of old ruins, and to the features of a young girl’s hands, there’s plenty to see and much fuel for speculation.