Magic and religion go head to head in Frank Cho’s Skybourne. With Merlin’s return, will the children of Lazarus be able to survive?
Previously in Skybourne: Lazarus, after his miraculous resurrection, fathered three children: Abraham, Thomas, and Grace. All three children were blessed with superhuman strength, impenetrable skin, and immortality. Then Grace was killed while retrieving Excalibur.
NEVER BRING A GUN TO A DRAGON FIGHT
While the first two issues of this series were shrouded in mystery, the mid-point gives us all the answers we need – almost. We already know Thomas and his family are immortal, so it makes sense that he would have been around during the time of Merlin, King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Now that Merlin has returned and is using his magic to bring forth a horde of dragons to attack the Mountain Top (the secret mountain top base of a former secret religious organization now turned military) Thomas is able to tell the tale of the last time the two crossed swords. In the telling, we not only learn that Thomas killed Merlin, but we also know that Pandora’s Gate – the literal gateway to hell, is located just below their feet.
The biggest question that still remains is, “Who is the third member of the Skybourne family?” I’m gonna bet it is Merlin…
From a story standpoint, Skybourne feels like it is following a standard story structure of introducing a minor character, the conflict, the hero, an explanation, and then the final battle. There is nothing wrong with this structure, as it helps ease the reader into a more complex world where the Catholic Church has been fighting monsters and magic for centuries in order to preserve itself and the rest of humanity. Without the religious aspect of the story, the magical world seems a bit far fetched, but if each is locked in a secret battle, it is still ridiculous, but easier to swallow.
I do enjoy Frank Cho’s art. It is master level work regardless if he is drawing dragons, monkeys, or beautiful women. For those who only know Cho from his “Outrage” controversy, he can draw people with their clothes on and their breasts kept in check. When he does show restraint, the work is even more impressive.
That being said, my biggest concern is his women tend to look a lot like one another. Dead sister, Grace looks an awful lot like Brandy Carter from Liberty Meadows. Thomas’s mysterious dream woman looks a lot like Jen, who looks a lot like Jungle Gal, and so on. It’s not that Cho has a cookie cutter style, but rather there are certain aspects to the way he draws characters (eyes specifically) that tend to homogenize them.
BOTTOM LINE: IT’S CERTAINLY INTERESTING
Skybourne is everything you expect it to be, and also a bit more. The series feels like a cross between James Bond, Superman, and Reign of Fire. It sounds like a mess, but somehow Frank Cho keeps it all together in an interesting story. This issue gives readers a chance to catch up on what has come before as we prepare for the big battle – and even bigger surprises. The art is fantastic in that Frank Cho way. If you are looking for something a bit different, and is pretty to look at, Skybourne #3 is worth picking up.[taq_review]