God of Comics – Birthright #30
Birthright #30 (Image Comics)
I love this comic. It’s such a good take on one of fantasy’s oldest tropes – the idea of the savior from another world turned on its head and made to suffer a truth that goes too long overlooked: leaving behind a world means leaving a hole in that world.
Mikey was a child when he was taken to a fantastic world where magic is real and anything is possible. He was brought there as part of a prophecy, meant to fight the Demon-God-King Lore, a nigh-omnipotent hell-beast who had inflicted nightmares that had ripped into the soul of his home. For thirty years Mikey was trained and fought and killed, always remembering his family back home and looking for a way to return.
The people that kidnapped him made no promises about his kin, but when he killed his way to Lore, well… the Evil King was only too happy to talk with Mikey and offer him a way home, an offer Mikey fought but eventually accepted because of the damage his absence was doing to his family.
See, while thirty years passed for Mikey, only a single year passed in the world he was from, a world very much like ours. And here’s the thing: when a child goes missing in our world people want to know why. Mikey’s dad was the last person to see Mikey, so he’s accused of murdering Mikey. His parents divorce. His brother is emotionally shattered. All in one year and Lore shows Mikey the consequences of his disappearance, of what the people he’s fighting for have done to him and his family.
Lore offers Mikey the chance to go home, but only if Mikey will abandon his quest and take a piece of Lore back to his homeworld… meaning that Lore will get to invade our world and do to it what he did to his home. Mikey doesn’t much care, though, because all he wants to do is see his parents and his brother again.
And now we’ve gotten to the end game. Lore is getting ready to invade and the last refugees of the fantasy world who became guardians of our world can only stop it by purifying Mikey. Two worlds hang in the balance as Mikey finally faces off against Lore, knowing all he’s done to get here and knowing better than anyone the consequences of his actions.
It’s heartbreaking stuff expertly by Joshua Williamson, the same guy that gave us the equally excellent Nailbiter, with some incredible and weird art from the team of Adriano Lucas and Andrei Bressan. This series has been proof of how comics can tell involved, interesting, and character-driven fantasy stories, and if any of that sounds appealing then you can, should, and must read this issue.