Review: Saga Volume 10

Series: Saga
Author: Brian K. Vaughan
Artist: Fiona Staples
Letterer: Fonografiks
Publisher: Image Comics
Released: October 5, 2022
Received: Own

Ohhhh, my heart. I’m not sure I can take another volume of Saga. Not if it goes anything like Volume 9. I say that – knowing I will read every single volume of this series. Still, it’s nice to have the series back from hiatus.

Side note: If you haven’t read volume 9 yet, do NOT flip through 10, as there will be significant spoilers. Also, you’re probably better off not reading the rest of this review. I’ll try to be careful, but it’s easy to forget how much the little things add up.

Hazel and her family are still very much on the run. Sometimes, it feels like everyone wants to kill them – especially little Hazel. She’s the embodiment of something neither faction can afford to have lingering around.

Despite this danger (or perhaps because of it), her family still gets to have plenty of adventures, taking them to new worlds and meeting all sorts of people. Sometimes they make friends, but more often, they make enemies.

Writing

Ow. I thought I had gotten over the conclusion of Saga Volume 9. As it turns out, I was wrong. Saga Volume 10 hits like a ton of bricks. So it’s basically on par for the rest of this series. As per usual, Brian Vaughan isn’t here to pull punches. However, he may rip out a heart or two (of his readers – I need to be clear when talking about Vaughan).

The story starts with another time jump. This isn’t the first time this has happened, so no big surprise. It’s been three years since the final panel of the last volume. So everyone has had time to adjust to what went down. Mostly.

I adored seeing Alana and Hazel together. Their lives have not been easy, but it is nice to see that their family is still together. And they’ve found another member or two (trying to be vague here) to add to their ragtag crew. It’s heartwarming and more than a little bit bittersweet. It’s perfect for the series.

Their endearing and sometimes traumatic plot is balanced out by the adventures of The Will (and other characters introduced in this volume). These plots may boil your blood, but I expect that’s the point. Once again, we’re seeing some fresh tension, likely leading to another fatal confrontation. I don’t know that for a fact – I’m just assuming. Again, this is Vaughan we’re talking about.

Readers should prepare themselves for a couple of kicks to the heart. They’re not as bad as they could have been (or as bad as they have been in the past), but they are still very much there. Since this is Saga we’re talking about, I probably don’t need to include such a warning. But it feels like the kind thing to do.

Artwork

Fiona Staples is and has always been the perfect artist for Saga. Her character designs are out of this world (pun not intended, sorry). Not to mention her level of detail when it comes to portraying emotion. It’s just…so much. It makes the stories hit all the harder. Admittedly, we probably didn’t need that. But hey, that’s life, right?

As always, there are little details that took my breath away. Background and colors, little hints tucked here and there. This is one of the reasons why I love the series so much. There’s text, and then there’s subtext.

Oh! And I can’t forget about the lettering. Fonografiks did a freaking fantastic job with the lettering. I love the creative placement and design of some of it. It makes it feel more like a story a kid would tell, which is appropriate and accurate (remember, this is still Hazel’s story).

Conclusion

Oh, Saga. How do you keep doing this to me? More importantly, why do I keep coming back? Oh, right – because the writing and artwork are brilliant. Oh well, I guess I’m back in a cycle of reading and crying. But seriously, Saga Volume 10 is a long-awaited volume that is worth the wait. Fans of the series should pick this up and dive right in.

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Review – Farmhand #15 (Image Comics)

The Past Has Come Back to Haunt In Farmhand #15

After a short break, the ghastly tale of plants and implants is back in Farmhand #15. This is a world that has been steadily getting darker with time, and it looks like it’ll brighten up anytime soon. So if you’re looking for an original horror worth diving into, this is one to check out.

Once upon a time, the discovery of using plants to grow implants and prosthetics seemed like a miracle. Now it’s more like a nightmare, as the truth behind the entire process is steadily being revealed.

If only that was the only secret, this small town was hiding. In a series that blends family drama and horror, Farmhand is genuinely chilling – a fact that seems to become increasingly apparent.

Writing

Farmhand #15, like the rest of the series, was written by Rob Guillory until this point. His horrifying vision has come to life on the pages, and it is haunting. Thematically, I’ve loved this series from the start. The addition of family dynamics and drama has brought the series to new heights, especially in the last couple of issues.

The Knowledge of Good and Evil‘ primarily bounces back and forth between two moments in time. The present, where everything is going to hell. And the past, where it all began. It’s fascinating to see how the two tie together so strongly, as one character, in particular, learns the hidden truth of his family.

The revelations (and reactions) in this issue have left me with countless questions. I consider that to be a good thing. This series is easy to become emotionally invested in; all while curiosity is allowed to run free.

I sincerely cannot wait for the next issue in the series to drop, not just because I have questions I want answers to. But simply because I’m looking forward to seeing what is next, and how we’ll next be surprised.

Art

As mentioned above, Rob Guillory was the writer for this issue – but that’s not all. He was also the lead artist, working alongside Rico Renzi (colors) and Kody Chamberlain (letters). Together they turned Farmhand #15 into something that is simultaneously stunning…and horrifying.

This series has never been afraid to dive into dark imagery, but it felt so much more accurate and haunting in this issue. That’s thanks, in no small part, to the art style they’ve been working with this whole time. The expressions and color palette did help to enhance the scene, of course.

The cover for Farmhand #15 is quite possibly my favorite of the series thus far. The colors are a bit of a break from the norm (usually being dominated by green and other natural hues), but it works spectacularly in this case.

Conclusion

Farmhand #15 was a haunting tale, one that revealed the past to such a dramatic effect. It truly would not be the same series if they were to remove the family drama. Or the horror, for that matter. Together they merge and create something new and perfect.

There are many things I’ve been enjoying about Farmhand. The aesthetic, the themes, the tone. Then there’s the storytelling style, which is unpredictable yet solid. It’s everything I could have hoped for in such a dark series, and then some. That is why I’ve found myself so thoroughly entranced by it all.

This review was originally written for Word of the Nerd, but has been ported over to Quirky Cat’s Fat Stacks now that the site has shut down.

Review – Farmhand #14 (Image Comics)

The Hits Keep On Coming in Farmhand #14

Farmhand #14 continues the chilling tale of wayward prosthetics and plants. What at first seemed like a brilliant advancement in technology has quickly turned into a horror story. And the stakes keep getting raised.

This series combines horror with family drama, technology, and medical science in the best of ways. If you’ve ever found yourself wanting to read a series that will forever leave you slightly afraid of the plants in your very own backyard, then this is a series for you.

For those that haven’t heard of the series, Farmhand follows one family through a series of increasingly dangerous adventures. At the core of it is the family business, the growing of implants and prosthetics. It seemed like a genius move to have plants grow all the spare parts we needed, but as it turns out, there is a cost to everything.

Writing

Rob Guillory has continued to surprise and terrify his fans in Farmhand #14. This issue brought with it many answers that we’ve been seeking. However, in the process, it feels like it’s raising even more questions in need of answering.

This issue was split into so many different parts and perspectives, yet it shockingly never feels rushed. It’s almost hard to believe how much Guillory was able to fit into the pages, given how smoothly it read.

As such, there were multiple threads of the same plot moving forward here. Given everything that has been going on, it was quite exciting to get a chance to see it all in context. The viewpoints provided also helped to establish what characters were involved in which specific elements, etc. You can tell that it was all carefully planned out.

One thing I do know about this series; it is steadily upping the ante and the tension. It feels like at any moment; the dam will burst. In this instance, the dam is slightly less figurative, as long as you’re good with picturing zombie plants instead of water.

Art

As mentioned above, a lot is going on in Farmhand #14. But have no fear; the artwork had no trouble keeping up with it all. Honestly, I’m very impressed with the balance that was struck in this issue.

There were flashbacks and perspective shifts and several other storytelling techniques thrown into the mix. Each change came with a slight alteration to the artwork, creating a clear delineation between one moment and the next. It was subtle but precisely what was needed here.

Rob Guillory, alongside writing the entire series, is also the lead artist. Therefore, he’s the one responsible for the foreshadowing imagery and all of the little details that set the tone in this issue (and the series as a whole.).

Working alongside Guillory, you’ll find Rico Renzi (colorist) and Kody Chamberlain (letterer). Renzi’s colors take the series to new heights, as he has cleverly infused scenes with green hues in a way that has become remarkably alarming (think of the purple infusions whenever Killgrave is near). Meanwhile, Chamberlain’s letters perfectly support the flow of the story while providing unobtrusive insight.

Conclusion

Farmhand #14 was another chilling but brilliant addition to this series. It’s officially hit a point where I’m practically counting down the days until the next release. That’s how intense and fascinating this plot has become.

One of the best things about this series (aside from the eerie tone) is its completely unpredictable series. You can come up with countless theories for what is to come, and the odds are good that you’re not in the same mind space as Guillory.

This review was originally written for Word of the Nerd, but has been ported over to Quirky Cat’s Fat Stacks now that the site has shut down.

Review – Farmhand #13 (Image Comics)

The Rotted Core is Revealed in Farmhand #13

Farmhand #13 feels like the issue we’ve all been waiting for. The entirety of this series has been one intense buildup; this issue is the calm before the storm. Although it isn’t all that calm, is it?

This is a world where one company figured out how to use plants to create prosthetics and organ replacements. Only, it is quite a bit darker than that. They ignored all of the warning signs and kept plowing forward. Now one entire town must reap what has been sown.

Now, the secrets hidden by Jed and his accomplices are on the brink of coming out, all while upping the ante on the genuine risk at hand. The real question is, will they get to the bottom of this before it is too late?

Writing

Farmhand #13 is a chilling and fascinating issue. It went a long way in answering so many of my questions; while raising hundreds more. But that seems to be a particular talent of Rob Guillory’s. Here he’s written this complex organic horror series, where it looks like we can never quite get ahead of the flow of information.

And honestly? I love it. It adds to the intensity of the series, all while driving us to try and put the pieces of the plot together as we read. It’s not the sort of plot you idly read instead of demanding reader participation the whole way through.

There were a lot of significant elements in this issue. For one, the use of flashbacks to continue the story advancement. That was very carefully used, but it worked out brilliant here. There’s also a stronger sense of balance, with slightly more humorous moments helping to even out our emotions as we get ever deeper into this mystery.

Art

Rob Guillory is not simply the writer of this series. He’s the lead artist as well. The artwork in Farmhand #13 proves that his control of this series directly results in his vision making it to the pages. And man is it a chilling vision.

Farmhand has always had this specific aesthetic to it, one that is simultaneously appealing and horrifying. It’s something that Guillory used to full effect, and frankly, the series wouldn’t be the same without it.

Working alongside Guillory, you’ll find Jeremy Treece (colorist) and Kody Chamberlain (letterer). Treece’s sense of colors truly enhances this series. There’s this blend between an organic color palette (naturally) and a horror one. The merger is effective, and I honestly adore every bit about it.

Then there’s the Chamberlain, who did an excellent job of keeping this story together. There’s a lot of show and tell in this issue, which can be tough to keep organized. Yet there’s never any sense of disjoint or interference, as we read along.

Conclusion

Farmhand #13 was a chilling and delightful issue to read. That sounds like a contradiction, I know. But any horror fan out there knows what I mean by that.

This series has been so much fun to read, and I’m honestly looking forward to seeing what will happen next. Though I can’t even begin to guess at what the next dramatic revelation will be.

This review was originally written for Word of the Nerd, but has been ported over to Quirky Cat’s Fat Stacks now that the site has shut down.

Review – Farmhand #12 (Image Comics)

Farmhand #12 is Taking Family Drama to An All-New Extreme

Things have been changing quite rapidly in a sleeping little town, all thanks to one corporation and their implants. Now, in Farmhand #12, we’re about to see just how bad the leak has gotten. And how dangerous that will be.

Farmhand has been a brilliant, intense, and fascinating tale up to this point. The Jedidiah Seed is a mystery that is growing larger – and threat. And I can’t be the only fan eagerly awaiting answers on what exactly is going on here.

One this is certain, Freetown is no longer a safe location. The contamination has gone too far, affecting both people and animals. And it’s starting to feel like that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Writing

Once again, Rob Guillory has woven us a deliciously intriguing and disturbing tale. I don’t know what I love more; the concept behind the implant technology or the growing sense of foreshadowing.

Farmhand #12 is an issue that makes the growing threat clear. It also further proves that there’s more going on than meets the eye, especially regarding the Jedidiah Seed and its namesake. I know that answers are on the way, but I’m starting to chomp at the bit to see what it all is.

There are so many elements up in the air in this issue, yet they’re all carefully balanced here. The plot is getting thicker, with more questions rising with every moment. And yet, it feels like we know less than ever. It’s all so carefully crafted to keep our intrigue going.

The family drama and dynamics are starting to come to a head here. It feels like each family member has their own goals, hopes, and expectations at this point. And in a way, that just makes the whole situation feel more realistic. All while providing even more tension to an already intimidating plot.

Art

Farmhand #12 is an issue full of dramatic and dangerous scenes. As I said, Freetown is no longer a safe location. And the violence is of the most unique nature. Guillory is the lead artist for this project, and that’s a good thing. It means he’s free to make sure his vision is properly put onto the pages.

This issue perfectly blends the organic nature of plants and contamination with this sense of unyielding horror. It’s a delicate and alarming balance. But it’s the exact tone this series needs.

The coloring is what brings the artwork to a whole new level, with many of the scenes portraying a green color palette. Oddly fitting, don’t you think? Taylor Wells did the colors, and they’re noteworthy on more than one occasion.

Finally, Kody Chamberlain provided the lettering. And they managed to portray all of the various (and sometimes long) conversations in a way that never once felt crowded. It’s what this issue needed.

Conclusion

Farmhand #12 is one of those issues full of drama and danger – and yet you can’t help but feel like it’s all building towards something even bigger. And thus, I’m finding myself quite excited to see what will happen in the next issue, and for more than one reason. Anybody else feeling that way?

This review was originally written for Word of the Nerd, but has been ported over to Quirky Cat’s Fat Stacks now that the site has shut down.

Review – Exorsisters #6 (Image Comics)

A Trial of Heaven And Hell in Exorsisters #6

Cate and Kate are not precisely normal twins, but they’re making it work in Exorsisters #6. More accurately, their loyalty to one another has no bounds. Not even when they’re handed everything they could have ever desired.

Something tremendous and terrifying is looming on the horizon. Something so powerful as to bend the wills of even angels. Naturally, that means our two Exorsisters are about to throw themselves directly in that path. It’s sort of what they do.

For those that are a bit newer to this series, Kate and Cate aren’t twins. They’re two halves of the same whole. Literally, one is the soul of the other, but through a twisted series of events, they’ve become separated, and they prefer to see themselves as twins now.

Writing

Written by Ian Boothby, Exorsisters #6 is as fun and chaotic as the rest of the series. If not more so. This is a series unafraid to make rough jokes and references, all in the name of having fun. After all, the series is based on two sisters who hunt demons for a living. Things are going to get a little bit crazy from time to time.

This issue is also mildly heartbreaking in its way. Once again, we’re reminded of the hell that Cate and Kate have gone through (in one of their cases, we mean that literally). It’s an essential part of their backstory, so a reminder is needed. But the way it was done…just ouch. Poor Cate.

Meanwhile, Kate’s side of the story is refreshingly fun and witty. Okay, it’s a little dark too, but so is the character, so who’s surprised by that revelation? It doesn’t stop her from having any fun, and we should enjoy the laughs as well.

This issue made great use of split perspectives to tell a larger story. The scene is being set, and whatever is coming is going to be massive. This new arc has been interesting from the first moment, but the buildup makes it even more intriguing.

Art

Exorsisters #6 is full of creative storytelling through the use of artwork. To say that it makes for a thrilling comic series would be an understatement. There are many striking scenes to be found within these pages, thanks mainly to the creative color palettes and character designs.

Gisele Lagace was the lead artist for this issue, and they did an excellent job of portraying all of the insanity that makes this series work. Cate and Kate are unique characters, and that fact is as clear as day, thanks to Lagace.

Meanwhile, Pete Pantazis was in charge of coloring, which is one of the most distinctive features of this issue (and series as a whole). Vibrant colors pop out against intentionally dull backdrops, the result being something eye-catching and evocative.

Finally, there’s Taylor Esposito, who was in charge of the lettering. There are a lot of one-liners in this issue, and that means they had to be placed with perfection to carry the same punch. That is a challenge that Esposito was more than willing to meet, and you can tell they had a bit of fun in the process.

Conclusion

It is shockingly good to have Exorsisters back and updating once again. This series has been fun from the start, but with the new arc that Exorsisters #6 brought with it, things are sure to get more intense from here. I, for one, am very much looking forward to seeing what happens next. All while seeing how these strange sisters deal with it all.

Review – Fairlady #5 (Image Comics)

Time To Say Goodbye in Fairlady #5

Writer Brian Schirmer recently confirmed that Fairlady #5 was to be the last issue in the series. This is a shame for all the fans of the only fairlady. There’s hope that the series may be revived in time, especially given all of the attention it has managed to grab.

Knowing it was the last one (for a while), going into this issue was rough. That being said, it is worth reading, a potent reminder of why Jenner Faulds’ story is one worth following. Fairlady #5 may be the most dramatic issue to date, which makes the series ending all the more devastating.

Fairlady #5 did something different from the rest of the series. Unlike the first four issues, the plot introduced was not one that could have been resolved in just a single issue. One more reason to lament this being the last issue.

Writing

Brian Schirmer seriously upped the ante in Fairlady #5. Jenner’s quests have always been on the more dangerous side, but this was something entirely new. Even though they hadn’t planned on the series ending at this point, the issue ended on a shockingly emotional note.

Previously, each of the four issues could have been considered standalone. Of course, they involved the same main characters, but the plots were always wrapped up in a neat little bow. That changed for this issue.

Fairlady #5 pulled in elements from a previous plot to spin a new tale. That combined with the storytelling style used in this issue made it totally different from the others – and many other series out there.

The disjointed method of storytelling in this issue will keep readers in suspense all the way to the conclusion of the issue. And of course, it’ll leave many eager for more as well. Which, as I’ve stated above, is a complete shame.

Art

Fairlady has always had a unique handle on the artwork in the series, and Fairlady #5 is no exception here. The artwork perfectly supports the interesting storytelling methods used, fragmenting the panels in a way that matches the story itself.

Claudia Balboni was the lead artist in this issue, with Marissa Louise and Lesley Atlansky providing the colors. Together, they did a fantastic job bringing the final quest for the series to life.

There are many noteworthy elements in the art for this issue. The movement portrayed one of those elements. They were able to display a lot of action in a very clever way. It resulted in the pages looking busier at times, but that enhanced the pages more than anything.

The color palette was stunning, of course. Here, the artists gave us a night scene that genuinely felt dark and foreboding while still having the page be clear to the readers. This is a balance that isn’t easy to maintain.

Finally, David Bowman was the letterer for this issue, and he did a fantastic job. The lettering has always been an essential element to this series, mainly based on the way the story is told. And Fairlady #5 went above and beyond in that regard.

Conclusion

Fairlady #5 was perhaps the most decisive issue of the series, weaving old plots into the new and creating something so much larger than readers have ever expected. Jenner’s perspective was retrospective in a way that made it oddly perfect for the last issue.

This issue being so brilliant, did make the loss of the series hit home. Many fans are going to be sad to see this one go. Hopefully, there’ll be a second chance later down the line. Until then, appreciate what we’ve been given, right?

This review was originally written for Word of the Nerd, but has been ported over to Quirky Cat’s Fat Stacks now that the site has shut down.

Review – Fairlady #4 (Image Comics)

Fairlady #4 is the Embodiment of the Quest for Answers

Fairlady #4 continues Jenner Faulds’ journey. Though if you recall, one thing that makes the Fairlady series so unique is that every issue has its freestanding plot. So you can read these in any order you like. That being said, I think this might be my favorite issue of the series. Though maybe that is because of the book theme, can you blame me there?

Once again, Jenner has taken up a new job as a Fairlady. However, this time around, it may have been slightly less optional for her. But that probably happens to everyone, from time to time. But if you’ve ever wanted to see a bounty hunter go on what has to be the most peculiar quest yet, then check out this issue.

Writing

Brian Schirmer has done a fantastic job of making this series as unique as it is interesting. Better yet – it’s lived up to the promise of having each issue standalone. Fairlady #4 is the perfect example of a freestanding plot. Once you know the world and have a general idea of Jenner’s character, you’re good to go.

This issue started with a bit of a surprise, but it did an excellent job backtracking to explain the situation. I love stories that begin in the middle of the action – it gets your attention right away. As long as they describe it later, that is.

Fairlady #4 had a bit of a comical edge to it. And it worked oddly well with the series. Jenner’s latest bounty is…unusual. But it’s also something that many of us could sympathize with, in a way. And it certainly opened the door for lots of commentary and jokes.

The fourth issue in the series took advantage of different storytelling techniques to walk us through what happened. It was clever, and it kept things light and interesting. It also added some extra intrigue to an issue that was otherwise somewhat relaxing.

Art

Fairlady #4 showed us more of Jenner’s world and some of the beings that inhabit it. These characters were interesting to see, mainly because of the way they were designed. It can’t be easy to come up with creatures that look different while still fitting into the surroundings.

Claudia Balboni was the artist for this issue, while Marissa Louise provided the colors. Together they brought this world to life. Not every panel was one to catch the eye – but they didn’t all need to be. The panels that were, though? They’re worth talking about. Some were striking – bold backdrops combined with text and brilliant pieces of art. Or amusing expressions – those were another highlight of mine. They coupled well with the story being told.

Conclusion

Fairlady #4 was a fun and enjoyable read. The added humor to the plot was much appreciated. The specific tone used fits well with Jenner and her strange world. The ending was oddly perfect, not that we can explain why without spoiling it all.

All in all, this issue was wonderful. The bounty was not something I expected to see – and yet it was something I feel that any reader can sympathize with and support. That certainly made the whole ordeal a lot more entertaining.

This review was originally written for Word of the Nerd, but has been ported over to Quirky Cat’s Fat Stacks now that the site has shut down.

Review – Fairlady #3 (Image Comics)

Things Are Getting Dicey for Jenner Faulds in Fairlady #3

Jenner Faulds is the first and only Fairlady of the land. She’s also exceptionally talented at her job. Unfortunately, part of her job involves getting into trouble. Not that this usually stops her; she seems to like trying to sort things out for herself.

In Fairlady #3, Jenner takes on a job where nothing is quite like it seems. And that usually means the job is more trouble than it’s worth.

This is quite possibly my favorite issue of Fairlady so far. Granted, we’re only three issues in, so that only means so much. There was a lot I enjoyed about this issue, and I think other fans would agree.

Writing

Brian Schirmer has done a great job of throwing various positions in Jenner Faulds’ path. It’s what has made Fairlady so enjoyable thus far. However, the challenge that Jenner comes up against in Fairlady #3 is by far one of the more fascinating ones to date.

This issue had one of the best introductions, as far as I’m concerned. The explanation of Jenner’s current job was entertaining and well written. I have to admit that I’m particularly fond of the original job description she was given – it’s an interesting idea.

The twists and turns that naturally followed Jenner accepting the job were unforeseen, but that made it all the more enjoyable. There were perhaps more moments of humor in this issue as well, but they were well balanced with some of the more somber tones provided.

It also seems like this might be the first plot that will carry over from one issue to the next. I’ll admit that this has me more than a little bit curious and excited. I’m looking forward to seeing what Fairlady could do with a longer-running plot.

Art

Claudia Balboni was the line artist for Fairlady #3, and you can tell that she enjoyed drawing this issue. There were lots of fight scenes and other unique opportunities in this issue. One of which was rather large and hilarious. The dramatic scenes were specially done in this issue.

Shari Chankhamma was the colorist for this issue, and I really like what she did here. The flashbacks were distinct from the present, thanks to the sepia tones she used. The sepia hues were vastly different from the typical color palette of the issue, which had a lot brighter tones snuck into what should have been a muted palette. I personally love this little mixing of colors.

Conclusion

The adventure of Fairlady just keeps getting more and more interesting as time goes on. This issue was the most complex one to date, and with good reason. The writing coupled with the art style makes for an immersive reading experience.

I mentioned above that Fairlady #3 had been my favorite so far, and I meant it. Everything that went into this issue was either brilliant, fascinating, or clever. There’s nothing for me to complain about, and in fact, I’m actively looking forward to the next issue of the series.

This review was originally written for Word of the Nerd, but has been ported over to Quirky Cat’s Fat Stacks now that the site has shut down.

Review – Fairlady #2 (Image Comics)

Fairlady #2 Brings Us Dragons, Danger, and Widows, Oh My!

Fairlady is a unique series in that every issue has a fully contained plot. What ties the issues together, of course, are the characters involved. Each issue has taught us a bit more about Jenner Faulds – the only Fairlady around.

Fairlady #2 had a great setup. There were rumored dragons, a murder, a mystery, and a widow. What more could you possibly ask for? But in all seriousness, this issue did a better job, in my opinion, of showing Jenner’s investigative strengths, as well as her moral compass.

Writing

Brian Schirmer is the brains behind Fairlady, and his distinctive style lends well to the series. In the first issue, we were introduced to Jenner Faulds’ new life, and around that, a mystery for her to solve. In Fairlady #2, Jenner is once again dealing with a mystery.

This issue excelled in a lot of ways. The storytelling technique used to introduce us to the plot was eye-catching and gave us room to immediately doubt the truth of what was said. (Right alongside our characters). From there, we were gradually fed information as we watched Jenner piece everything together. It was fascinating watching her work, as she had allies and those who looked down upon her for what she is (a female Fairman).

The methods of telling us information changed on a case-by-case basis, and it was very effective. It kept away the feeling of repetition and the appearance of info-dumping (which can be a real problem with shorter series).

I love that this series was designed to keep each issue compact and separate. While they can be read together, Schirmer also ensured that they all fully encase their plot, making them decent standalone issues.

Art

The artwork in Fairlady #2 was vibrant and full of life. Marissa Louise and Claudia Balboni brought the world of Fairlady to life with their artwork. I’ve loved their brighter style from the beginning, but this issue impressed me even further.

For me, the most impressive page was the second page of the issue. Which sounds a bit strange, but bear with me. It isn’t easy to draw fire believably, especially not with so many changing elements about it. Yet, that is what we see on this page. Combine that with several different creatures being presented, and it really was amazing. And it did a brilliant job of setting the scene.

Conclusion

Fairlady #2 lived up to both my expectations as well as the promise of the series. In many ways, I think that the second issue surpassed the first. Which, of course, has resulted in my expectations being raised for the next issue.

Jenner has been a fascinating character to follow. Not only is she exceptionally talented at getting into situations, but she’s brilliant when it comes to using the resources she has available. She does a pretty good job of giving us the tough guy impression when in truth, there’s a lot more to her than meets the eye. In short, she’s the perfect character to carry this series.

This review was originally written for Word of the Nerd, but has been ported over to Quirky Cat’s Fat Stacks now that the site has shut down.

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