The book that started out simply as Tooth and Claw and now called The Autumnlands has reached the final issue of its first story arc. Can it wrap things up nicely or does it skip a beat? Is it good?
The Autumnlands: Tooth and Claw #6 (Image Comics)
We’re in some kind of world where animals can speak and wield magic, and are losing their power. To gain it back they cast a ritual to bring back the Champion who they claim gave them their powers in the first place. Problem is he’s a human, a human who seems to have advanced technology and not magic, but before they can worry too much about him they must save themselves from the Buffalo who want to exterminate them all. The Buffalo don’t wield magic and have been treated poorly by the magic animals so now they can have their revenge. The Champion however, has decided to protect them and a master plan is in the works to stop the Buffalo and save the animals.
Writer Kurt Busiek has been building to this climactic coming to blows between the Champion and the Buffalo for a good three issues now, so anticipation is high. Does he succeed? Yes I think so, but the climax does beg for a bigger finish considering how much buildup has gone on to this moment. The story does effectively wrap up while also leaving plenty of questions open as to what might happen next. The bad guy even gets a beautifully annoying part that will make you hate him even more.
Behind all of the events in this book though there’s a drive for the reader to want to know more. There’s clearly a very well thought out world on our hands here and on top of all that the Champion contains maybe mysteries that can only further complicate and excite the reader. None of that is explored in this issue and instead this serves as a finish to the first arc. Here’s to hoping more of this world is opened up to the reader in the next arc.
The art by Benjamin Dewey continues to be excellent with some rather impressive climactic moments due to his pen. The man is fantastic at drawing animals with very clear and defined emotion. That’s a tricky thing when you think about it as animals just don’t have as many facial expressions to play with, but Dewey does a lot via the eyes alone. Dusty makes a choice that risks his own life near the end and you feel the hurt and risk all in these characters faces.
Is It Good?
A strong climax to a fantastical story that will make you want more. The next issue can’t come fast enough.