Story: John Tsuei
Art: Audrey Mok
Colors: Raul Angulo
Letterer: Jim Campbell
What They Say:
After rescuing the Eye of the Bull, Sera returns to Parsa, only to discover it is no longer her home. Just when it seems war has stripped Sera of everything she holds dear, a surprising ally emerges. Together they set out to turn the tables on her uncle Shaheen’s invading forces.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The opening installment of this series really got my attention even as it kept things relatively small. Though the scale of the events were a bit sizable and kind of classic mythology stuff, John Tsuei kept the cast small and easy to connect with and fill in some of the blanks. With more space to operate here, he’s now expanding on the story in some good ways as the party building begins. And that lets Audrey Mok really shine more as we go from the solid leading characters and world design to some creative additions with Aldebaran and Antares. Both of them have some great designs to them and stand out well with what they actually are.
Sera’s “unlocking” of the Eye of the Bull has brought Aldebaran into reality and the old god is a fairly amusing kind elder god type. He’s got a connected history with Sera through her mother Tara and he’s able to get her to see more of the big picture quickly through a look at the stars and a little information about how things works with gods and worshippers. The bonding is light but effective here and grows well as they head back to Paras and discover that Shaheen has already won. Aldebaran is exactly what Sera needs as wise council that helps her navigate dealing with Zand and then Shaheen himself once they get to the royal court. Shaheen has easily taken over here with his brother and family in custody. While Shaheen is fond of black and all, it is nice to see that he hasn’t gone to just executing his family since you’d expect that to be a driving motivation for Sera.
The royal court sequence is a bit awkward in how much unfolds and changes here quickly but people are respectful enough of the existence of gods to be somewhat deferential. Aldebaran is a big enough one but we see Antares arrive in the form of a spider that threatens Shaheen so that Sera can come out on top. It’s convoluted but I like the progress that Tsuei provides for the story here so that we can get Sera and her group out of the country and on the move for their journey that will bring them back to hopefully freeing their homeland. Not everyone gets to go for obvious reasons but we see more of what Sera is capable of and her destiny (even if it is a cliche-ish chosen one thing) as her connection to magic and what it brings into the world is enticing.
I really enjoyed the first issue of the series and this one builds on it very well. Tsuei puts a lot in here bringing in two of the gods quickly that are aligned with Sera now but it feels natural enough. Sera’s pulled several ways here and I really like her interactions with Zand, who himself may have a pretty good arc ahead of him at some point. The story is opened up well here and what has me excited is that Audrey Mok really gets to be creative here, such as the use of magic toward the end with Aldebaran. And with more of the world opening up before us, Mok has a whole lot more that can be introduced and had fun with. I’m looking forward to it a lot as both of these issues have been quite enjoyable.
Age Rating: 12+
Released By: Vault Comics
Release Date: August 28th, 2019