Friday, April 24, 2015

Birthright, Vol. 1: Homecoming

Looking at all of the early reviews for this one, I again feel as though Ive missed something crucial.  Or perhaps it's just that I'm approaching this from a more critical standpoint.  When I start a comic, unless it's Batgirl or Daredevil or American Vampire or Chew (okay, weird cross-section, but whatever), I'm starting at zero.  I expect to not love it (huzzah for split infinitives!).  If the comic grows on me, it grows.  If not, we hover around zero.


I hadn't heard anything at all about Birthright before requesting it on Netgalley, but the overall numbers on Goodreads looked pretty decent.  And I suppose that this comic is ... pretty decent, but in a world increasingly filled with fabulous comics, that just doesn't cut it for me.  I didn't find it to be particularly original, as many other reviewers did.

The plot is pretty basic: it's Mikey's birthday, and while Mom puts the finishing touches on the birthday party, Dad (Aaron) and Mikey go play a game of catch in a park near the woods.  Mikey runs off to retrieve a ball that went into the Deep, Dark Woods, and never comes out again.  This destroys the family, especially when the police quasi-accuse Aaron of killing Mikey.  Mom seems a bit too eager to believe this, while Brennan, Mikey's older brother, still hopes against hope that he'll come home.  But by now, it's not likely that the police will find anything.  Except for the day they do.

When the family arrives, they find, not a little boy, but a giant of a man who resembles Conan the Barbarian.  DNA, fingerprints ... all confirm that this is Mikey.  He tells a story of walking into a parallel fantasy world where he is the Chosen One to fulfill a prophecy.  He must overthrown the evil ruler of this world, and for a time, his protectors are the Gideons, sort of winged fairy-angels.  Only they do a rather poor job of protecting him.

So if he's this Chosen One, why did Mikey return?  He claims that five powerful sorcerers, servants of the Evil One he vanquished, have escaped to Earth and plan to destroy it.  Of course, he's the only one who can stop them.


Oh really, Mikey?  Then who's that red blob guy on your shoulder, reminding you of your corruption?

The rest of the volume deals with Mikey's escape from police custody and how he ingratiates himself into the good graces of Brennan, taking him on as a sort of sidekick.

I'm rather confused as to why this is regarded as original.  To me, it read like Star Wars meets Narnia.  There's the magical world aspect, and then the whole Chosen One becomes corrupted in order to save his family *cough Anakin Skywalker cough cough*.  He's taken in by the Jedi/Gideons to train to save the world from the Emperor/God King Lore but then becomes tempted by the Dark Side in order to return to his family.  


I'm not tempted to pick up another volume of this, but I am about to start another of Williamson's comics--Ghosted.  We'll see how that goes!

I received an ARC of this title from Netgalley.

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