Talking animals, magical beings and a protagonist who’s very much human in an animal world…sounds like a Jim Henson picture! But is it good?
The Autumnlands: Tooth & Claw #5 (Image Comics)
Last issue felt like a building issue whose main focus was getting the pieces in place before lighting the dynamite. In a lot of ways this issue is more of the same, but we do get a bit more detail as we watch The Champion pull his plan together. That gives the reader something to think about and piece together which helps keep things interesting.
Pomp and power should have been the title!
Kurt Busiek continues to write a very well balanced story with many voices and characters to keep track of. It does feel he opened this series with a rather complicated world and disassembled it by having it come literally crashing down. After the animals used up most of their magic their floating city fell from the sky and now they’re relying on the Champion, a human they presume to be the creator of magic itself, to protect them from an impending buffalo attack.
Since issue #2 Busiek has had the characters recover from the fall and regain some composure, but this has forced the reader to sort of wait for something to happen. The power struggle between Owl and other characters was obvious from the very first issue and that is what the reader has relied on for most of the drama. Gone are the interesting tidbits of religion and magic which made the first issue so impactful. The plot has moved a bit slowly in part due to a trickster character who is playing both sides, but again, this element isn’t the most original of storylines.
What could they be up to.
Part of the reason this series has been so entertaining is due to the culture of the creatures and the mysterious origins of the Champion. We want to learn more about these, and at times we do get some detail, but it has come to the point where we’re waiting too long for a conflict promised from nearly the beginning. That’s made the read a bit trying on the reader’s patience. That said, the world is still hiding its secrets and we’ll keep coming until they’re finally revealed.
The art by Benjamin Dewey continues to impress with its ability to show the animals’ expressions and a vivid world around them. God knows animals are sympathetic to begin with, but throw a sad face on a giraffe elder and it’s downright tear inducing. Dewey gets to show off some of the Champion’s more tech savvy powers here too, which are just subtle enough to be captivating but not overdone.
Oh it’s for that…ew.
Is It Good?
Autmnlands continues to keep the reader’s interest and tease us with a most captivating world even if we must wait for the impending conflict to occur.