Birthright #1

"Birthright" #1 draws inspiration from a number of fantasies and dramas, particularly those readers may have latched on to as children, such as "Goonies," "Peter Pan" and "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe." Writer Joshua Williamson notes those, among many others, as inspiration for this comic book, but there are also elements of "Lord of the Rings" and "The Fisher King" among others.

"Birthright" co-creator Andrei Bressan handles the visual side of the issue, detailing the rigors and emotions in the real world with painstaking care, transcribing the emotions of a family who has lost their son/brother. It doesn't stop there, however, as the apparent procedural drama spins into the fantastic before too long. Colorist Adriano Lucas and letterer Pat Brosseau enhance the story, giving sound to Bressan's world and freckling the shadows with bursts of color that shine through the darkness. Bressan draws a mighty fine police procedural, but his fantastical is just as excellent. The debut of Terrenos is jaw-droppingly amazing and inspirational, not just to the map crafted by Williamson and Jason Ho that anchors the backside of "Birthright" #1, but to the story itself, promising tales of marvelous beasts and unbelievable sights.

Williamson brings the two divergent ideas together nicely through the story in "Birthright" #1. Following all leads in their yearlong search for Mikey Rhodes, the missing boy whose disappearance splinters his family; the local police department comes across a man who may have a connection, or at least an idea -- a crazy, half-baked, mad idea, but an idea nonetheless. He spins tales of the lost land of Terrenos; weaving madness through the threads of hope the writer allows the Rhodes family to cling to.

Williamson fills "Birthright" #1 with completely believable characters -- including a loving father, a distressed wife and a devoted brother. Even the fantastical creatures in Terrenos are believable, like the necessarily gruff, Kilowog-like Rook, who trains young Mikey to face the God King Lore or Rya, whose jealousy is on par with that of Tinker Bell from "Peter Pan."

These characters, the gripping missing persons plot and the adventure in a faraway land mix together nicely in "Birthright" #1. Williamson, Bressan, Lucas and Brosseau give readers a rich, new, thrilling adventure with a couple surprises along the way. "Birthright" #1 gives a little bit away in the title, but the creative team ensures that readers are not going to be ready for everything that happens in this first issue. Image has yet another strong debut on the shelves with "Birthright" #1.

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