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Birthright #36 (Review): Secret History of Magic

Updated: Jan 24, 2020


Writer: Joshua Williamson

Artist: Andrei Bressan

Colorist: Adriano Lucas

Letterer: Pat Brosseau

Publisher: Image Comics


For those of you not familiar with BIRTHRIGHT, here's a brief overview. This series is about a young boy Mikey Rhodes who goes missing one day, only to return a year later as an adult. While he was away, in the mysterious land of Terranos, he was trained to be warrior and was told he was the chosen one and had a destiny to fulfill (beating the evil King Lore. He came back a changed man and it was revealed that he was actually under King Lore's control.

Since his return a lot has happened, one of which was finding out his grandfather was connected to Terranos, being a mage. It was also revealed in that his brother Brennan was a mage as well. Having had Lore exercised from his body, Mikey has sought to help his brother Brennan after Lore's enforcer Kallista abducted him.

Having saved Brennan, Mikey is now locked up and being questioned by a group of government agents hoping to find out more about magic on Earth. Williamson and Bressan take us through the secret history of magic, dating all the way back to 1946 when two park rangers discovered a magical creature. This issue sheds a lot of light onto the fact that the government knew about magic and had discovered many magical artifacts over the years. All Mikey wants to do is protect his family, including his newborn daughter. 

Williamson continues to dive into Mikey's psyche, showing that even at a young age he always gave into his anger. He let's it dictate his actions and sometimes goes into a blind rage. It's probably one of the reasons he was able to fall into Lore's hands so easily. These flashbacks to when Mikey was being trained are some of my favorite aspects of the book. They're used in a way that always ties into what's happening in the present. 

Bressan continues to amaze me with the amount of detail he puts into each page and panel. I don't think the book would be what it is with his art accompanying Williamson's awesome story. His character designs are some the craziest I've ever seen just look at Kallista, she looks insane.

The issue ends with us learning that the barrier between worlds has been weakened. Following the death of the mages in previous issues, the safeguards put into place have been destroyed.  If the wall between world falls, both worlds will be destroyed.

Williamson continues to show why he's one of the greatest writers in the medium today. This is easily one of Image's best books, but I feel people don't talk about it enough. Bressan is also one of the most talented artists to debut in the last 5 years. If you haven't been reading this book, I can't recommend it enough. This is without a doubt one of the best comics being published today and should be on everyone's pull list.

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