Writer: Gene Ha / Artist: Gene Ha / Dark Horse Comics
Ah! Now the story starts! Here we are in Issue #3 and our heroines, Mae and Abbie, have gone through the portal and emerged in the world of Cimrteren, where Abbie has spent the last several years traveling and fighting for we’re not exactly sure what. The color palette and details expand here in Cimrteren, as the pair leave the portal and head to the nearest city. Throughout the issue, the action increases and there is lots of world building, of the kind that makes fantasy comics so entertaining.
In the city, the girls enter the market and trade some goods for local currency. It takes a few pages before you notice it — the town is populated by humans and animal-hybrid creatures, and all of the humans are Black!
As it turns out, this city was founded by Black people. Apparently we, and the Czechs, have a lock on all the portal locations, so we’re the only ones who go through them. It is an interesting world choice, which I hope will lead to all kinds of unexpected cultural cross-over.
Abbie, as a local freedom fighter, is quickly recognized in the city, and they gain their first local friend, a small cat-like creature named Kvido. He’s not the bravest of them all, but he seems knowledgable and good company. The threesome get mixed up in an attack on the city, which gives Abbie a chance to show off her axe-wielding skills:
And Mae to flex that brain of hers, which seems to be a big part of the plot: that Abbie jumps in swinging and Mae stops to think things through. The outcome of the fight, while successful, isn’t as expected, closing the issue with a big question: in a world that you only barely understand, how do you pick a side?
This was a fun issue, full of action and anticipation of adventure. The imagery is intriging, right down to the costume design of the Cimrterens. I’m glad I stuck with Mae and I’m hopeful that the coming issues will just keep getting better.