Bethany and Elissar have solved the problem of the Void Sickness for Jonas, so now it’s back to trying to find someone who can read the Map. All they need to do is get to the city, and that shouldn’t be too difficult, right? Find out in The Necromancer’s Map #3 from Vault Comics.
Writer: Andrea Fort and Michael Christopher Heron
Artist: Sam Beck
Colorist: Ellie Wright
Letterer: Andworld Design
Editor: Adrian F. Wassel
Publisher: Vault Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: October 30, 2019
Previously in The Necromancer’s Map: Bethany and Elissar, but both are looking for a cure for the Void Sickness that plagues Jonas. Bethany raises a long-dead elder of the Foggard and learns it is a curse from the Vriihn, the Dark Elves. Elissar has gone to the Vriihn, known for their healing, but when she asks about Void Sickness, she is quickly dismissed. It turns out the Void Sickness is the terrible price paid for using the magical power from Eadread. The released dark energies are channeled into an unknowing student, who bears the entire burden rather than letting those energies plague the world. Bethany and Elissar destroy the totem of Eadred, kill Choggand (the High Priest), and give Jonas an amulet that frees him of the Void Sickness.
AND NOW THEY ARE THREE
The Necromancer’s Map #3 opens with Bethany, Elissar, and Jonas riding to the city of Vallagard. Jonas suddenly slumps and says, “They’re coming.” Almost immediately they are ambushed. An anti-necromancer group called Tristan’s Will attacks. Bethany’s horse is hit, causing her to drop her pack, spilling books and papers everywhere. Jonas gets hit in the head, and Elissar runs around mopping up the majority of the ambush. One survivor flees, unseen by the young people.
They need to hole up for a little while, and Bethany has her sights set on Aspines Hold, a windmill that survived a siege long ago. It’s a little worn and very dusty, but it is still abandoned and intact enough to use as shelter. From there they can even see the city. Bethany realizes she cannot find her map, and she plans to spend her time looking for it. By the time the two young women are done scouting, Jonas has used his magic to set up living quarters and create food for them.
If there is a fault to find in this book, it is that there is a whole lot of backstory yet to tell, and we get some large chunks of it here. It’s interesting, and it explains things about the characters, but there’s a lot of it and it’s delivered rather bluntly. Bethany asks about the elf who made Jonas’ amulet, which leads to asking about Cormac (Elissar’s father; sold her and her mother into slavery; seeking revenge). We also get Bethany’s back story.
In the meantime, a force of Tristan’s Will finds them and calls them out. They’re led, this time, but a masked evil necromancer named Volgros, apparently already known to Bethany. That’s how he could find them so quickly. Being a necromancer, he is able to detect and focus in on Elissar, who has been raised from the dead. And yes, the incongruity of the necromancer in a command role of an anti-necromancer group is pointed out. He also gloats that he found Bethany’s map, which she had dropped at the ambush site, and that he is perfectly able to read it. And then his men attack. This book has plenty of interesting moments, but it also has plenty of times where it feels predictable, which is a little disappointing.
CLEAR LINES AND DISTINCT CHARACTERS
I do like that the characters in The Necromancer’s Map #3 all have trademark features and details that are used consistently. We never lose track of anybody, and I like the outfits that they wear. They look appropriate to a fantasy world and as though they are practical to wear. Their horses are pretty well drawn too, although it did bug me a little that after the ambush, they were just…gone. Maybe they ran off?
But I really like the moments when characters really seem like themselves. When Bethany drops her pack, scattering books and papers, she immediately busies herself with trying to gather them up despite being in the middle of a fight. Jonas is amazed by the sheer amount of dust and decay in the windmill, and then proceeds to spiff it up and make it almost ridiculously homey. Maybe it’s just that touches like this set aside these two – they have fairly powerful magic, but they are not warriors at heart, certainly not like Elissar.
BOTTOM LINE: ALMOST TOO MUCH STORY
The Necromancer’s Map #3 has a decent story to tell, and there are glimmers of an interesting plot in addition to the likeable characters. I’m still feeling a little swamped by the sheer amount of information we’re getting. While it’s stuff I appreciate learning, I’m not yet convinced we need to know that much of it right now.
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The Necromancer's Map #3
A necromancer using her powers mainly for good and her dead friend who is out for revenge are quite the team up.