Andrei Bressan is an impressive talent. That was the thought I found myself returning to repeatedly over the course reading “Birthright #5”. His talent is on display with every explosive panel and every gorgeous splash page. For some reason there aren’t many fantasy comics on the scene right now and so Birthright manages to strike a visual chord that hasn’t been overplayed, something that is pretty difficult in the comic book market right now. Page after page, I flipped through the book and was continually impressed by the quality of Bressan’s visuals in a way that I haven’t fully appreciated until now.
Plot-wise “Birthright #5” continues the already compelling story writer Joshua Williamson has been adding to with each issue. Each installment of this series takes a similar formula and crafts a compelling narrative out of the “present day” story-arc of a grown-up Mikey reunited with his family but spoiled by a terrible secret, and the flashbacks to a young Mikey brimming with innocence and promise. Particularly compelling in “Birthright #5” was the potential seeds of discord that Williamson plants between the brothers; hinting at a conflict we might see boil over in the next few issues.
The final splash page, aside from being another great looking page from Bressan, introduces another character to the present day side of the story. The cliff-hanger isn’t totally unexpected but it guarantees another interesting rabbit hole for Williamson and Bressan to investigate in future issues.
A great strength for this series is the longevity of its subject matter. There is so much to see and explore within Birthright’s world that it’s encouraging to think about where this creative team will go in the future. There is a lot of meat still left on this bone and it is doing a lot of things well. If you’ve been waiting to see how the first-arc would shape up before jumping on then take it from someone who has been following it for months: give this series a try.
“Birthright #5” is another fantastic outing for Williamson and Bressan. Each issue is getting stronger artistically and as the plot becomes more dense and interesting we become more invested in the characters. This series fills an under-utilizing genre in the comic book medium and has quickly asserted itself as a title of the highest order.
“Birthright #5” earns 8.4/10