Diving back into the Kickstarter pile again, and what turns up, but one of my favorite artists: Stan Yak!
When a demon is slaughtering innocents across the countryside in the Kingdom of Meravim, a group of mercenaries is hired to stop this harbinger of death; however, these mercenaries have among them a woman of such ferocity that one might consider her a monster, as well. With strength, ingenuity, and a little magic on her side, Rayna destroys the demon, saving the kingdom. Though the men and her adopted father admire her abilities, they are appalled at her reckless actions. Her father attempts to teach her there is strength in trust, and she need not fight alone. She promises to try, but Rayna has a secret obsession that may lead her and those she loves down a dangerous path.
I like this story. It starts off with a bang and shows us exactly what Rayna is capable of. The best part is the father-daughter relationship which elevates it from your usual sword-and-sorcery slaughter fest. It enriches and grounds this universe in something relatable even if you didn’t have a great relationship with your father. You know these two people not only have a long history, but care about each other deeply. Stan Yak’s art is both creepy and sexy when it is appropriate, and the colors set the tone perfectly. I’ve been a fan of his for a while, so it was nice to see him do work in a genre I love. My only quibble with the story is I felt some of the voice-over and the dialogue could have been cut, as the visuals tell you what you need to know.
If you love tales of blood and vengeance with emotional resonance, then Rayna: The Bastard Queen is for you.
Creative Team: Ryan Cummins (writer), Stan Yak (artist), Dennis Lehman (colorist), Justin Birch (letterer), Kasey Pierce (editor)
Publisher: Skeletal Press
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