The first issue found Little Bird, the daughter of a true warrior known as her Mother, arising from a bunker after a war to find everything she knew destroyed and desolate, but she had a mission. In her Native American-inspired garb and her snow owl at her side, she journeyed to find and release a warrior called Axe. Their adversary in this war is a deranged version of the Catholic Church, with a heavily inspired sci-fi bend that includes teleportation devices, bubbles that people float in, and children with strange diseases that have tubes running into their noses. It’s like the Inquisition on LSD.
I was so drawn into this world - steeped in mythology, lore, and religious symbolism - that by the end of the first issue, I was emotionally moved, no less so than I am as I finish issue two. What happened to Little Bird in issue one was simply the beginning, it seems, of finding out who she truly is.
Ian Bertram, an artist who I first took note of in House of Penance, creates such weird and wild imagery. It’s beautiful, like a fever dream, and full of intense emotion - this hyper-surreal mirror world to our own. He uses the surreal elements to expose the inner turmoil of the characters.
There are two relationships of great interest in this series to me. The first is of Mother and Little Bird, and the other is the villain and his son. The Mother, who now I know as Tantoo, tells Little Bird to make her choices. His Grace, the Father of Gabriel, a sickly boy who has tubes running from his nose into the side of his head, tells his son to make the choice that he would make, even though Gabriel is reluctant to do so. It’s an interesting juxtaposition that adds even more on a thematic level to an already extremely well thought out and conceived book.
Creative Team: Ian Bertram & Darcy Van Poelgeest (created by), Darcy Van Poelgeest (writer), Ian Bertram (artist), Matt Hollingsworth (colors), Aditya Bidikar (letters), Ben Didier (design)
Publisher: Image Comics
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