Dionisia was living in retirement, her past firmly in the past, until her old friend Kartar activates a distress beacon. Unbeknownst to most, she is not merely a lord’s wife, but a fierce warrior and a battle-hardened veteran. Knowing the beacon can be traced to her family, Dionisia comes out of retirement, taking one last mission to rescue Kartar. However, the wizard-turned-monk doesn’t want to be saved, as they have been captured and enslaved by strange scientists who are experimenting on magic users, very few of whom survive. Thus, Dionisia has another reason to rescue her friend: Kartar knows a secret that could destroy her family if it comes to light. And Dionisia will stop at nothing to protect her loved ones.
Obscurato tweaks the medieval-fantasy-adventure story, upending many of the dusty tropes. Besides having a female warrior as the main character, writer and artist Deanna Brigman created a husband-wife fighting team, with Larkin working alongside his wife, as well as taking and following orders from her. When they decide to go into battle, he is not hesitant to allow his wife to go. Even better, Dionisia and Larkin have grandchildren. Not something you usually see in a fantasy story. While some characters are human, others are animals or animal-like, similar to old pulp comics. Unlike in the pulps, the humans are of different races and ethnicities, with equal space given to all shades. Female characters, both animal and human, have powers equal to male characters. Along with Brigman, the comic is edited by Basia Padlo, who is doing a wonderful job in ensuring the characters do not become tropes.
The art is reminiscent of older comics. The colors are bright, especially where it concerns the denizens of the fairy world or other magical creatures; the ones of the human world are more subdued. The world is early medieval European, with some ancient Roman and Egyptian influences. The humans are drawn with little exaggeration, effectively blending realism and fantasy. While Brigman does the art, the lettering is provided by Ryan Burst.
Obscurato is not an overly violent comic, but with swords and sorceries comes blood. In keeping with the warrior characters, both men and women see their share of battle and death. Besides fighting, there are torture scenes, so while it is a fantasy comic, it is not for young readers.
Obscurato is about a grandmother who must take up her sword and fight to protect her family. Read it at Obscurato.com.