‘Helm Greycastle #1:’ Comic Book Review

In this fantasy/alternate history series, we find ourselves in a Mesoamerica that consists of elves, orcs, sorcery, and the warrior Helm Greycastle.  The Aztecs hold dominion over Central America, and the gods bow to none other than Montezuma III. It is a brutal world, and Greycastle and his team are on a mission to rescue the young dragon prince kidnapped by the Aztecs. But the mission is made even more difficult with the shifting Aztec political alliances, leaving Greycastle and his team not knowing who to trust.

I loved the art in this comic. The colors are lush and the detail terrific, especially on the costumes of Montezuma and the gods. I’ve no doubt that significant research was done to get that right. I’d love to know what all of the symbols mean on the various headdresses that the gods and Montezuma are wearing. 

In the beginning of the issue, I noticed that the characters were first introduced in a kind of fun, tongue-in-cheek tone that quickly disappeared. I found the most interesting character to be the elf who spoke only in song. I’m sure his people’s culture and backstory would be fascinating to delve into. Throwing classic fantasy characters into a Central American indigenous culture (Aztec) is an interesting mash-up, and one in which I’m curious to see where the writer is going.  Additionally, writer Henry Barajas was generous to offer insight into the use of language in the series, noting, "Historically, the Mexica were forced to speak the Castilian’s language. In my story, they beat the Spanish but adopted some of their language, technology, and ways of life. They also speak 'common' in this story. This fantasy is very much a 'what if' because their time on this earth was short—and who knows that they could’ve learned and accomplished if it weren’t for the Castilians.”

What I particularly enjoyed was the RPG in the back. It is a quest to find a fabled piece of armor that will help the team against a “prophesied threat.”  I have not played the game yet, but the world building of Mr. Barajas has great possibilities, and it looks like a lot of fun.


Creative Team: Henry Barajas (writer), Rahmat M. Handoko (artist), Bryan Valenza (colorist)
Publisher: Top Cow and Image Comics
Click here to purchase.



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