The penultimate issue of Frank Cho’s epic hero/mythology/monster mashup is here.
It’s the penultimate issue to Frank Cho’s magic meets superheroes story and Merlin (yes, that Merlin) is knocking on the door to eliminate humanity for good. Cho is both drawing and writing this series, and so far it’s had that big fun action (with beautiful artwork) that makes for great summer reading.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
As Merlin takes his final steps to eliminate humanity, Skybourne must contend with not only a dragon, but an ancient unearthed evil in order to defeat the magician once and for all.
Why does this book matter?
Cho has done a good job mixing magic and mystery with the hero and his grudge against Merlin. It’s also had a Cabin in the Woods vibe when it comes to the monster madness and that’s added another layer to the action.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
It has been six months or so since the last issue, which does make it hard to dive right into this issue, but that said there isn’t much to where we left off. Skybourne is in a base filled with soldiers that sits on top of a doorway Merlin needs to enter to end humanity as we know it. Merlin has an army of monsters to make his way to the door, and on top of that Skybourne is very rusty. Cho uses Skybourne’s diminished fighting ability as a recurring joke in this issue that works every single time. Said joke involves some insane gore too, which looks fantastic in all its gross detail. If you’re a fan of action you’re going to love this issue, because really, that’s all this issue is.
Cho’s art looks great as always. There are some fantastic double page spreads and a lot of detail added to the plethora of monsters that show up to slow Skybourne down. If you dig monsters you’ll love this issue since there are so many that pop up here–werewolves, dragons, minotaurs, centaurs and more. There’s also a bit of T&A (this is Cho we’re talking about here) though it’s not as gratuitous as you might think. There is a crazy visual gag that I’ll not describe to avoid spoilers, but keep your kids away from this one folks!
It can’t be perfect can it?
These weapons will not matter in this issue. At all.
Maybe it’s because each issue has a large gap between them, but Cho tends to remind the reader of basic things too much. Skybourne for instance is indestructible, and at one point the character has doubts about falling a long distance and must be reminded. This seems to be more for the reader’s sake, but if you’ve been reading along it’s not necessary. This issue also opens with a seemingly pointless explanation as far as Merlin’s inability to be hurt by unenchanted weapons. The fact is, these weapons aren’t even used and conventional weapons are used a lot in this issue. It may set up the reader for the next issue, but it seems out of place given the bazooka action in this issue.
Speaking of the action, if you’re looking for anything beyond that as far as character or story you’ve come to the wrong issue. Cho has done well to set up the mystery of Skybourne and his powers–and even his familial relationships–but he’s stopped exploring that here and given us one long action sequence. That’s all well and good if you’re an action fan, but if you’re looking for something more you may walk away disappointed. The issue ends in a way that makes much of the events in this issue fun to read, but not mattering much to the narrative.
Is It Good?
There’s a hell of a lot of action in this issue. If you dig Cho’s art this is a no brainer purchase since his lines are as good as ever. Just don’t expect much beyond an entertaining action issue.