As Sander leads the Fortache into Lantern City, he is met by Kendal and more of Brother Pont’s men. Sander is not eager to kill Kendal and begs everyone to stand down, but his words have little effect. The battle rages on with losses on both sides, and Kendal’s men are ultimately defeated. Begging the Fortache to spare Kendal, Sander and Lizel persuade him to join the fight against Brother Pont. He agrees, and they coordinate their forces to try and stop Pont from destroying Grey Towers. Sander and his Fortache army fight their way to Brother Pont, but Sander discovers a truth that might be too difficult to bear. Meanwhile, as the council floats above the city in an airship, Terna suspects that Killian Grey’s servant is up to something. She’s right but may be too late to stop it.
Another action-packed story, this penultimate issue forces Sander into facing the consequences of his actions. In this classic war of the “haves and have-nots,” it’s clear that everyone is going to lose. My only nitpick would be that Sander’s knowledge of strategy was never foreshadowed, and now he’s leading troops into battle. (Remember, we first met Sander picking yellow berries in the first issue.) If anyone should be leading, it should be Kendal or at least offering some sound strategic advice that Sander agrees with. I thought the interaction between Lizel and Kendal (daughter and father) was believable, and it was interesting to see that the only one who stayed true to their core beliefs throughout the story was Lizel.
With three big, beautiful splash pages, we get to see even more details of Lantern City and the horrors of war. I have always enjoyed the Mr. Magno’s art and Chris Bylthe’s colors. They have remained consistently excellent and have brought another level to the story.
I look forward to reading the final issue!