Today’s review finds us in a different world, a world inhabited with Beast Wizards, Sorcery, brutality, and hope. Written by Kurt Busiek, a writer known for such works as Marvels, Astro City, and The Avengers; and Illustrated by Benjamin Dewey, known for works I was the Cat! And Tragedy. The Autumnlands is a series by Image Comics, ran for Fourteen Issues and collected in two Volumes, this review will be going over the first volume, it collects the first six issues of the series. it is one of the most Bizarre experiences to read (Hey, a Jojo Reference!) Let’s get to the review!
My experience with Anthropomorphic creatures has been a positive one over the years, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Adventures of the Gummi Bears, Chip, and Dale; the list goes on but the tale that Mr. Busiek and Mr. Dewey have brought forward is something you would see in Conan the Barbarian, Red Sonja and your usual Swords and Magic story or Television Series. With a mature tone to this new world, bringing in a variety of creatures, into a future filled with Magic spells, floating cities, and racial divide. The story is laid out in a traditional novel format (complete with many short stories in each issue,) and incredible artwork to show off this new world.
We’re introduced to Dunstan, a young man who lived on this Mystical, floating City called Keneil with his Father, a Well-known Trader who was ready to deal with a Bison Tribe known as ‘Lesser Races‘ that lived below on the plains. The best thing about the Autumnlands is that it doesn’t make any attempt to spell out its World, in fact, it trickles in information in a teasing pace; take, for example, we learn that the magic in their world is fading out and a conclave of Wizards meet and gather to discuss ramifications (similar to the UN in many ways.)
The artwork in this series is truly a treat to look at and admire, Benjamin Dewey’s work is perfect for what Kurt Busiek’s writing and story-telling; there are so many Animal Species in this story it is hard to list how many right off hand, in most cases when you have the first issue and a new story to tell, it usually is either the story is too fast and full of plot holes, or you’re reading a story that is too slow and makes absolutely no sense, this isn’t the case with the Autumnlands. There are, however, too many clichéd elements in this series, such as the Wizard Councillor, an Owl named Sandorst, a Politician who had scheming and social machinations that would make itself at home if you were watching Game of Thrones; later on, during the summoning, we meet a Coyote Trader named Goodfoot, a girl with an energetic personality brightens up the story, she plays both sides to line her pockets, what makes this even crazier is what she rides on, a Cockroach.
Now, the Champion that was summoned, a Human male who channels the fierce ferocity of a Barbarian Warrior named Steven Learoyd, a cold, fierce individual from an unspecified technological time in the past, who can be disgusting and interesting at the same time. In the span of several issues, we see friendship and respect between Steven and Dunstan starting to form, With issue 6 leaving us in a fun cliff-hanger (Sounds odd to say when cliff-hangers end up usually leaving us disappointed at times due to not wanting the story to end.)
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