What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about Birthright #46! To think that the end of the last story arc was really July last year. The year 2020 was a strange one in the world of comics too, so this is one of those things where you understood why you had to wait as long as you did to jump back into the story. And Birthright is one of those books that would leave you very anxious since this issue kicks off the final story arc of the series.
That anxiousness really plagued me too, because that was one hell of a cliffhanger that they left us on. Not everything could go perfectly for this family in their final attempts to stop the God King Lore’s plans, but you did not expect that both Aaron and Wendy Rhodes would find themselves trapped on the other side of the gate, in the land of Terrenos. So with that said, it made you wonder what we were going to return to once we flipped open to that first page. I was satisfied to see that they approached this with the sense that time needs to keep moving, and that there needs to be some changes to reflect how that arc ended. There was fallout for the world at large, there was grief to address from the Rhodes family on Earth, and there was still plenty to clean up which obviously was not going to magically disappear with the rest of Lore’s forces who ran back home.
The big thing of course was going to be seeing what state of mind this would throw Mikey into. He’s home, he has his wife and kid, and he is free from the influence of Lore. But just as he seemed to have everything, he lost two people who never stopped fighting to get him back. The kind of attitude he fell to made sense through that lens.
This was even the perfect entrypoint into another trip to the past in Terrenos. And this time around they did right by us in showing some of the brighter memories. This worked in terms of creating a new perspective to what life was like in the world. At the same time, reminding the people who mattered what they were fighting for.
With that said, the big thing for this issue was also seeing what comes next. Is there anything normal to expect for Rya, Mikey, or even Brennan? Having to find a way to get Wendy and Aaron back is not the least bit normal, but one has to wonder if there are brighter days to look forward to. How this issue played out created a deep conversation about what that should mean given what has already happened so far. I for one appreciated it too, because it ultimately lead to the kind of conversation Mikey should have ad with someone so long ago. Way before things got as out of hand as they did.
If there’s one thing this creative team did not disappoint us on so far, it is the idea that we would be seeing any less of the fantastical elements of this series. Once more this art team knocked it out of the park between those elements, and the ones which tug at your heart strings. If it wasn’t the many unique creations from Bressan which makes this universe one of a kind, then it was the spectacular range of colors which Lucas uses in his palette. And like always, the presentation of it all is what keeps you glued to those pages. There was one scene in particular which blew me away because of the overlay of moments shared between the past and present for Mikey and Rya.
What can I say, it’s good to have Birthright back in the pull-list. This was one of the strongest starts I have seen for a new story arc in a good while. Issue #46 sets us on one last adventure for the Rhodes family, and hopefully this leads to the ending this family deserves.