The journey to rescue their children continues for the Krylos and his companions. Yet the path may just lead them to a place they cannot return from. Your Major Spoilers review awaits!
Writer: Chip Zdarsky
Artist: Kris Anka
Colorist: Matt Wilson
Letterer: Aditya Bidikar
Editor: Allison O’Toole
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: September 25th, 2019
Previously in White Trees: Krylos, Dahvlan, and Scotiar are three of the greatest, yet broken, warriors in Black Sand. They have been brought out of retirement due to their children being kidnapped by an enemy army. Their quest has already taken them past familiar faces and mystical forests, but the location of their children still elude them.
IT MUST COME TO AN END
White Trees #2 opens with a contingent of enemy troops on patrol. Their banter is cut short by Scrotiar and Dahvlan launching a surprise attack that leaves all but one dead. The sole survivor is sent running by Krylos, who still refuses to kill. The trio believe they have narrowed down where their children may be to a single enemy fort and discuss how they’re going to infiltrate. Dahvlan grows impatient and enacts a plan of his own which requires Krylos being knocked unconscious. Dahvlan and Scrotiar make their way inside the base disguised as enemy soldiers delivering a bound Krylos as a prisoner. The enemies are neutralized and Krylos is freed from his bindings and they search for their children. But, instead of finding what they were looking for, they come across a captured lieutenant that Krylos recognizes and who has information. Things then shift to the throne room of the king who had sent the trio out initially. Krylos approaches the thrones and reveals that he knows that the king was the one behind the abductions in an attempt to lure the three back into war. He breaks the restraints on his sword and begins to make quick work of the palace guards. Dahvlan and Scrotiar find the children and lead them away from the fight. Krylos chases and kills the king and in turn is cut down by a wall of arrows. Then, Krylos awakens to find himself alive and his son preparing to head off to fish. Krylos bestows some wisdom on his son before wishing him well.
A THEMATICALLY STUNNING BOOK
The themes of fatherhood, regret, and duty from the first issue are still here and in some ways are even more effectively presented in White Trees #2. This book is in a sense, greater than the sum of its parts. The individual story beats aren’t exactly original but come together in a way that communicates an emotion rather than just a story. In a medium where parentage is often used as a gimmick, an ode to fatherhood this earnest and vulnerable is a beautiful thing to see. This is a tale that feels designed to “hit home” and this issue makes sure that it succeeds in its objective. My only qualm with this issue is the ending. The implication that it was “all a dream” diminishes the gut punch of the sacrifice shown in the previous pages.
BEAUTIFUL IN ITS BRUTALITY
The art remains a joy to see. The colors are still reminiscent of sunsets which is fitting thematically. Also, unlike the first issue, we get an extended and brutal action sequence. Krylos slices and cuts his way through his opponents with ease and it’s depicted in a way that makes it believable that he would hate and regret his talents.
BOTTOM LINE: PICK UP THIS BOOK
A concise, well told, thematically strong series is rare in comic books. The first issue did an amazing job introducing the themes of this story and White Trees #2 didn’t squander that setup. A slightly weak ending keeps this book from getting a perfect score, but in no way should it be a reason people don’t pick this book up. 4.5 out of 5
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The White Trees #2
White Trees #2 is a bittersweet tale that lingers after the final panel is read. It really is stunning how well crafted the series as a whole feels with there being only two issues.