"Riftworld Legends #4" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Joe Books LTD
Written by Jonathan Williams
Illustrated by Daniel Wong
Colored by Nino Vecia
2017, 26 Pages
Comic released on November 22nd, 2017
Fiona listens to her grandmother tell the secret history of her family with bated breath, as each new chapter reveals more of the sordid past. We don't know what turned the kindhearted thief, Jackie, into the villain he's been known as in the present. What is most interesting are the references to the cross, called “The Devil's Mark”, in Riftworld Legends. It makes you wonder what the connection is to our world and what could have happened for this holy symbol to have such a drastically different representation.
Writer Jonathan Williams impressively balances multiple storylines through Riftworld Legends. They flow nicely from one to another, bouncing between Fiona and her grandmother, back to the past with Jackie and Shim, and now over to Thora, imprisoned on Captain Sebastian's ship. Each plot thread is given room to grow and no character feels neglected. More importantly, each one furthers the overall narrative.
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This is shown perfectly in a dual fight scene by artist Daniel Wong. Shim and Jackie are fighting off a horde of orcs on land while Thora is fighting a bunch of Sebastian's men on the ship. The two scenes are shown side by side, weaving into one another, almost like they're in the same battle, back-to-back. This was a little confusing at first glance, but then quickly turned into my favorite sequence in the book, particularly when the two brawls mirror one another. Wong could have split them up into separate pages and it would have been the same amount of space, but presenting them with these double-page spreads adds to the story and helps tie the fates of the characters together, despite the fact they're not in the same place right now.
The choreography of these battles is top notch. The flow between one another is well done. It keeps the action exciting and the tension high. The panels get wilder as the fight progresses until the lines between the two are almost non-existent.
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Fiona's grandmother is quickly becoming my favorite character, as she's like a witch version of Peter Falk's character from The Princess Bride. She is an excellent storyteller, dropping just the right amount of hints and leaving both Fiona and the reader wanting more. This issue in particular leaves off with a terrific and chilling cliffhanger.
I was unfamiliar with Riftworld Chronicles, the series this comic is based on, and I still have not seen a single episode. That doesn't prevent me from enjoying the book, as there's more than enough information to dive in. I'm sure fans of the franchise will take away more than I did. On its own, Riftworld Legends has the makings of a sprawling fantasy epic. The idea that Jackie is going to take a major heel turn is a driving force of interest in the story, followed by Fiona's fear that she'll be punished for her connection to the man. It's definitely more in the fantasy side than the horror side, but has some dark elements that fans of either genre will dig.