You can’t go to war with a fantasy realm without having at least a little trauma. Mikey and Boomer share a drink and some stories as Birthright approaches its grand finale.
In the wake of the war against Terrenos, a black market for magical items has sprung up. With Lore out of the way, Mikey has become part of a task force to take this down. It’s something to keep himself occupied as he avoids his brother, Brennan, who he somewhat blames for stranding their parents in Terrenos. Unfortunately, these two are going to come together again, but whether that’s as friends or enemies is yet to be decided.
I’ve said it numerous times in reviewing Birthright, but this book is always about family. It may take some twists and turns or add some different elements, however, the family dynamic is always central to the story in some shape or fashion. In this case, there’s this growing rift between Mikey and Brennan that everyone but them can see.
Issues like this one remind us that in many ways, Mikey is still just a kid. Time passed differently while he was in Terrenos so he grew up faster than those in our world, including his own brother. Despite appearing as an adult, there’s so much he still needs to learn. That includes how to deal with some of life’s problems.
Much of this issue deals with stories. Mikey and Boomer share tales from their past as warriors, albeit in two very different worlds. Although this is more subdued than other recent issues of Birthright, writer Joshua Williamson keeps things interesting by tying all of this together. It helps that we’ve invested so much in these characters and their journeys so far, even with Boomer, who’s a relative newcomer.
It’s quite a sight to see these two hardened soldiers sharing a drink together. Artist Andrei Bressan shows the wear and tear of their lives in their faces and the way they carry themselves. These men have been through quite a lot in their years.
Boomer is dealing with some issues of his own, struggling to control a monster that now lurks within his own body. Bressan turns in some horrifying images showing this transformation. Veins bulge as fur, teeth, and claws sprout up, all detailed in beautiful and frightening fashion. It’s a little weird to me that with all the unique magical creatures that came over from Terrenos that we’ve got what seems like a basic werewolf, but it works in this context.
Letterer Pat Brosseau goes all out for this transformation too. You can see how Boomer gives in to his animal side. His voice changes from that of a man to a monster. It’s joined by some unsettling sound effects as he literally rips through his foes.
There’s a dark cloud hanging over Mikey and Boomer, both literally and metaphorically. They’ve been through so much and are trying to deal with their own trauma. Colorist Adriano Lucas creates a dreary, foreboding atmosphere in Birthright #47 that’s only broken up when magic is used. I will never get tired of this effect. Magic shines like a bright explosion of energy, making it clear that this is something otherworldly at work.
There are only a few issues left of Birthright and each one is just as powerful as ever. This is very much the epilogue to the story, but it’s not dealing with the characters walking peacefully into the sunset. They’ve been through so much and are still grappling with the trauma they’ve experienced. You can’t go to war with a fantasy realm and lose your parents for the second time in two years without needing at least a little bit of therapy.