Review: Pathfinder Rune Scars #2
Writer: James L Sutter
Artist: Ediano Silva
Colourist: Omi Remalante
Letterer: Tom Napolitano
Publisher: Dynamite Comics
‘In the magical city of Korvosa, a killer is hunting Varisian sorcerers and slicing away their magical tattoos. Yet when Seoni and her band of adventurers is called home to deal with the threat, she quickly learns that the problem runs far deeper than an ordinary serial killer. With the fate of her entire homeland at stake, Seoni and her friends will need to take on devil-binding Hellknights, bizarre monsters, and
an ancient legacy written into her very skin…’
Swords, sorcery and spells abound in the second offering in the latest Pathfinder series, Rune Scars. Clearly, Pathfinder has carved out its own special little niche in the fantasy market and readership has held steady at worst and otherwise grown. Fans have come to expect solid plots with a rich and familiar universe, and it’s this familiarity that binds the new series Rune Scars to the franchise.
The first thing that hits us is the sheer depth of detail in the artwork. The golds and silvers of the armour and weapons is striking in its boldness, and I often found my eye drawn to an outfit or helmet that the artist had clearly gone to town on. And that happens quite a bit, by the way. Silva has found his calling, and between this and the Grimm Fairy Tales, his other major on-going fantasy series, his work is showcased to be amongst the best in the genre. As the intrepid fellowship battle their way toward the citadel, we see wonderful action sequences where longer pencil lines help the background blur with the speed of attack. The same backgrounds were prior to this detailed walls and characters but dulled in darker blue hues which allows our focus to remain on the foreground but also allows us to let our eyes wander when the need arises. This is a rich comic with lots to feast your eyes on.
The action within the citadel itself is carried by the detailed dialogue. The letterer really has a tough job with placing some hefty speech and text boxes into a visually packed frame. Yes, some of the impact of the art may be lost but generally these are not action sequences, which is the pay-off. The dialogue is needed in all fairness. There’s a lot to consider, and there are layers to the storytelling that include references to the previous and next issues, as well as the Pathfinder universe in general. Sutter has given the characters depth and the sometimes comical banter gives some light hearted relief from the action, and the seriousness of the quest. We have the schoolboy crushes of Braids and the ubercool one-liners of Quinn. All in all, the writing reaches deeper than the average title. We’ve grown to know and like our protagonists in a short time, so that means we’re invested. Can’t say that for every book I’ve picked up recently.
For fans of fantasy and epic journey plotlines alike. Come for the magic and stay for the awesome Hellknights and some decent dialogue, all immersed in a luscious vista of Silva and Remelante’s boldly coloured artwork.
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Review written by Arun S.