The Seeker is determined to catch the Cat once and for all. But how do you catch a cat that can travel through time? Find out more in Inkblot #5 from Image Comics!
Writer: Emma Kubert and Rusty Gladd
Artist: Emma Kubert and Rusty Gladd
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: January 6, 2021
Previously in Inkblot: The story moves to the past, before the Seeker had established her library. In ancient Egypt, Xenthos and his family, including the Seeker, are on the hunt for monsters. They run into a Sphinx. Xenthos wants to make a bargain with it, but one of the men (Khaba) grabs the bag young Inos has, cuts it open, finds the cat (yes, the cat we’ve been following all along) and offers it to the Sphinx. The Sphinx would actually prefer Xenthos’ magical staff, but he does not agree. They fight; Khaba is beheaded; the cat vanishes. We flash forward to the present were the Seeker is looking for something in her bag, and instead finds Khaba’s corpse…and the cat!
STEPPING FURTHER INTO THE PAST
As Inkblot #5 opens, we find out that last issue’s incident with the Sphinx was indeed four thousand years in the past. The Seeker figures that the cat travels through time and reality on a whim, and she really must catch it before it does serious damage. But the story takes place in a primordial jungle on Earth yet again.
It can be a bit confusing, especially when the story involves the Seeker’s entire family as this one does. By virtue of his staff, Xenthos is easy to identify. The Seeker always has a heap of books, and this seems out of place in a primordial jungle, but then this family apparently can travel between different realities. Are they traveling through time as well? That’s difficult to say, as they don’t seem to age appreciably and they always look a bit anachronistic no matter where they are.
But this is a family, and there are family squabbles. The bickering gets the Seeker riled up, and then Xenthos realizes that their little brother Inos is missing. Inos has wandered into the jungle where he finds the Cat. Inos tries to make friends with it, and before long, the Cat obligingly summons a variety of interesting magical creatures to entertain the little boy. Then a huge rock monster shows up sending Inos and all the creatures scattering. Xenthos hears the rumbling and runs toward it, arriving just in time to fight off the giant creature. He kills it…but it comes back to life, and this time Inos lets loose with magic he didn’t know he had to dispatch it. Everything ends happily with the little boy bringing the cat back home with him in his bag.
Indeed, this is the same little brother as last issue. Honestly, other than a few main characters, the Seeker’s family is so big it is easy to lose track of who is who. At any rate, the story is now wandering backward. As this is mostly the explanation as to why the cat was there last time, it is not quite as entertaining as some of the other issues have been.
IMAGINATIVE AND WITH PERSONALITY
The art of Inkblot #5 is solid. The setting is an African jungle, and I do like the overall leafiness and vine-covered foliage. It is a little hard to tell just how primordial this all is because it all looks too modern and we don’t see any truly prehistoric styled plants. (Some cycads would have nailed that.)
On the other hand, the art has a lot of fun with the fantasy creatures, from fairies that glow with a warm light to a large, three-eyed guardian creature with paws and antlers. I like that the cat also brings in a few scary creatures, and it is fun to see Inos’ reaction to each new thing that shows up. The giant humanoid rock monster is well drawn and of intimidating scale. It looks genuinely threatening, and when it reforms, it turns into a sort of multi-headed beast which is horrifying.
BOTTOM LINE: NOT THE BEST, BUT NOT BAD
Inkblot #5 advances the plot but is not a convenient jumping on point. The art is lovely and the Seeker’s family is less grandly heroic and more human, which makes them somewhat more engaging.
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Winding back in time, the Cat has its pawprints there too.