Things go from bad to worse as gods arrive in the Autumnlands, and Dusty and Learoyd are probably doomed. Again. Your Major Spoilers review of The Autumnlands #13 awaits!
Previously in The Autumnlands:
AT THE TEMPLE OF THE SUN
As last issue ended, Dusty and Learoyd watched the collapse of the temple of the Galateans (seemingly stone courtesans, programmed to obey those who know their code-phrases), all the while watched from afar by a mysterious woman. They begin digging immediately, trying to find their goat-friend Bertie, who is buried and mortally wounded by the collapse. It seems that he attempted to command the Galateans to destroy each other in revenge for the death of his people, only to discover they aren’t mindless servants after all. A tense confrontation ensues, as the stone women prepare to destroy them all, only to have Learoyd call their bluff on the promise to kill them all. It’s an incredibly powerful scene, made even more so by Dewey’s expressive art, leading to the Galateans suddenly assisting in digging Bertie free. Just when it seems like things are looking up, their pursuer arrives, and Dusty identifies her as Feniz, goddess of energy, one of the deities of this world, who immediately blasts Learoyd to cinders…
ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE DIALOGUE AND CHARACTER VOICE
…or so she intends. For whatever reason, it doesn’t take, and Feniz and Learoyd are forced to talk to one another, each trying to figure out what in the hell is going on. The strength of this series, to me, is in the character voices, with Learoyd front and center as a foul-mouthed pragmatist, surrounded by flowery-talking sorcerers, would-be gods and the various dialects of the animals of the world. A few more hints as to the nature of the Autumnlands appear in this issue, as Feniz accuses our heroes of being pawns of someone called McCready, and speaks of the “god-sight” that makes Dusty and Bertie see her as their respective deities (a trick which DOESN’T work on the human Learoyd, for unknown reasons.) As the issue ends, Learoyd asks her to help repair the Galateans, but Feniz replies that there isn’t any point, as the construct she has been assembling all issue suddenly comes on-line, ready to destroy the entire area.
THE BOTTOM LINE: IMMEDIATELY ENGAGING
Sometimes, people try to get me to describe The Autumnlands as a concept, and I usally say something like this: Imagine Tarzan, Starship Troopers and the Dark Crystal mashed up into one, with bits of John Carter, Rambo and a few slices of Lovecraft here and there. Now forget all that, but remember the general way the description makes you feel, and you’ll get a kind of sense of how good this issue (and the series) is. The Autumnlands #13 is the penultimate issue of the arc, leaving us with the expectation of explodeyness next time around, but filling each page with witty dialogue, beautiful art and carefully crafted story reveals, earning a very impressive 4 out of 5 stars overall. I don’t know that I’d recommend just jumping in on a random issue, but this is a book that you should definitely be reading. (I would start with the collection of the first arc, and take it from there.)