What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about Birthright #45! So with this issue of Birthright, we have now come to the end of yet another story arc. This time around I really found myself bracing for what came next. This is not one of those stories where you expect a happy ending. Destiny doesn’t always work that way, and it certainly hasn’t always worked that way with this creative team. If there was any way for them to make us squirm till the start of the next and last arc? Now would be that time.
Now while we looked forward to this issue for the aftermath of Mikey Rhodes and the God King Lore’s epic battle, I thought it was smart that they built up the suspense by first picking up with the other half of their plan. As much as it mattered for Mikey to defeat Lore, it was just as important for Brennan and their parents to succeed in closing the door from the other side. When I flipped open to that first page, I was happy that it was actually Aaron and Wendy who took the trip to Terrenos. I was a bit confused as to how they cut to being there, but all the same I was happy that they got this opportunity. This was the last step that they needed to take in order to fully understand what happened when Mikey was lost to that world all of those years. To both of them, it could have still been a beautiful world which matched everything they once knew about fantasy. But this was that time for them to get a reality check.
As for Brennan, this was a big moment for him. Truthfully, everything about this final battle has been a big moment for Brennan. This is him taking control of the destiny he had to fulfill as a new mage. After everything we have learned about magic, this is also a new experience. He’s come to a point where he understands magic enough, and better than most, that he is tackling a solo mission which once took five individuals of the same level of power. Though at the same time this never once took away the worry you had for him. Can one mage really pull off such a feat? All it took was looking at his face to see that there was a battle that could have gone either way.
That said, there was the burning question of what it meant by a shocker from the aftermath of Mikey and Lore’s battle. The answer to that was shocking, and I will give credit where it is due that they really thought outside of the box for what that meant. This is normally that part of a book where the creative team pulls out all of the stops to grab your attention with shock value. Fortunately for us, that has never truly been the case with Birthright. What all was said and done, I couldn’t help but feel as though what happened here came naturally. Like it was something which needed to happen for better or for worse. Only what happens in the next arc could genuinely tell us how this aftermath should affect us.
For this chapter of Birthright, there was much more appreciation that I was able to find in the design of Brennan in his mage form. Up to this point, his changes were never that significant, aside from that one time he lost control. He looked magic, without really looking like any of the other mages. So this issue changed things drastically when you see him pushing his limits, and in turn taking on a full transformation. I liked it because the essence to his design spoke to the nature of his magic. Brennan still had a pure soul, and that showed through less monstrous features, and having a pattern of cold colors. He more or less looked like a more humanoid version of the Diviner he absorbed way back. That said, I also loved the explosiveness of the colors used to his spell. As I said before, this is a massive spell he was trying to accomplish on his own. So we needed to see that through his aura, and through the spell itself. Aside from that, I did appreciate the trip back to Terrenos. There’s something to admire about that distinctive clashing of natural beauty, and desolation which sweeps through that world.
Overall, I was satisfied with the events of Birthright #45. If I’m being honest, I was feeling reluctant towards the direction this story was taking. I was not sure if they were going to take a predictable route, or give us something new. In the end I was thrilled that they went with an end result to the battle that was more symbolic more than anything else.