Published on October 9th, 2014 | by JCDoyle0
Birthright #1 – Review
As his mother and older brother plan a surprise party for Mikey, he plays ball with his father in the park: an ordinary family on the verge of tragedy.
Aaron throws a baseball into the woods at the edge of the park while he talks to his wife about the party preparations but Mikey doesn’t return so he stumbles into the undergrowth looking for him. All his searching is in vain and Mikey has disappeared. What follows is the breakdown of the family as they unsuccessfully search for Mikey and the blame falls upon Aaron.
After an unbearable year for the family in which Aaron is accused of killing Mikey, the police officer in charge of the case calls them all to the station. He shows them a vagrant that the police have picked up wandering the woods. The fully grown man is“dressed like a Lord of the Rings reject” and has a fantastical story to tell. The man’s identity is in dispute but only Aaron can see it, only Aaron believes that this man is Mikey.
In the first half of this comic Joshua Williamson tells a heart breaking story of a lost child in a very moving and realistic way. If you hadn’t looked at the cover you wouldn’t expect the fantasy element that makes up the second half of the issue. The desperate actions of the family and the strain that Mikey’s disappearance has on the family is evident in each panel as the script and the art show the reader what it would be like to be at the centre of a media circus while at the same time going through one of the worst periods possible in a family’s life.
Then, when the story changes pace and direction, Williamson makes the transition seamlessly, moving from family drama to a Narnia style adventure. And yet as Mikey sits and tells his story in the police station the focus is still on the rest of his family and their reactions to the impossible scene before them. It’s like Flight of the Navigator in reverse and has the same emotional impact that movie had in the late 1980’s. Mikey’s story is full of wondrous and fantastical creatures but it’s the start of his tale, of a boy lost in the woods and then torn from the safety of his world, that will have you weeping like a baby.
This is a powerful and surprisingly serious comic which, I expect, will become more of a fantasy adventure story as it continues however thanks to Andrei Bressan’s art and Joshua Williamson’s script, this first issue will pull at your heart strings in ways you’re not going to expect.
Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artist: Andrei Bressan