Mae has been a breath of fresh air when it comes to fantasy. Like Alice going through the looking glass, the story has felt weird, colorful, and beautiful all at once, but how is issue #5? Is it good?
Mae #5 (Dark Horse Comics)
So what’s it about? The official Dark Horse summary reads:
Cornered by an evil duke, Mae and Abbie are desperate to escape and rescue their father. But it’s out of the frying pan and into the fire as Mae starts to learn more about Abbie’s past in this fantasy world that once hailed her as a hero.
Why does this book matter?
The characters are cornered in a castle of technologically advanced barons and aristocrats, but these sisters have plenty up their sleeves to escape. Regardless of that, the world Gene Ha has slowly revealed to us is a vivid and interesting one well worth exploring.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
The plot thickens in this issue whilst even more weird and wild concepts come into play. Dehydrated zombies? Don’t mind if I do! Ha opens the issue with action, carries out a daring escape, and weaves in a new group of characters by the end. All in all, this issue increases the stakes for humanities safety and delivers a rollicking action packed issue at the same time.
The world continues to be the most interesting element of this series, with compelling creatures and elements off to the sides of the pages to draw your interest in. Take for instance one scene where the characters are fleeing and dinosaur like creatures flee alongside them; these creatures are interesting and imaginative and make one wonder how many wonders there are in the world. You can tell Ha is having a lot of fun too, like how he has Kvido chasing a bumblebee throughout two pages while Mae and her sister discuss what they should do next. It’s a fun element that shows his animalistic side (though he’s in a suit!) and shows how this comic can be fun even when exposition is going on.
She has a hard bargain going.
Once again, the art continues to be a joy. The faces, actions, and environments are all thoughtfully placed and rendered making the world feel lived in. This issue gave me a faint feel of Rupert due to the wooded environments that looks and feels real. Little details like varying clothing on the characters, or rock and roots in the ground, help make this book feel filled with wonderment.
It can’t be perfect can it?
In some ways Mae #5 is a table setting sort of issue to get the characters from point A to point B. Their main mission is to save their father, though it’s easy to forget that after reading this issue. If anything they’re going in the wrong direction entirely and the plot seems to be wavering a bit with on clear direction in site. Given the wonderful world that isn’t a big deal, but it’s hard to see where it’s going which makes it hard to get your anticipation up.
Way to put Earth in danger!
Is It Good?
Gene Ha continues to paint a beautiful world via compelling characters that feels entirely new and fresh.