The Hunt For the Dire Beast Part 1 of 5.
Writer: Mark London
Artist: Andy King
Colorist: Alejandro Giraldo
Letterers: Miguel Zapata/Christian Ospina
Battlecats and What We Know Going In:
The Battlecats are an elite team of warriors sworn to protect Valderia led by Kelthan of Stormholt. They battle and live to protect Valderia against the evil forces that threaten its ideals and traditions. At the word of King Eramad III, the Battlecats leave Stormholt to take down the legendary Dire Beast in the haunted region of La Marque. This original medieval fantasy comic promises a well shaped world moved by its rich history and cultures. On their way to La Marque, the Battlecats face an unexpected enemy from their past…
What Just Happened:
The issue starts off immediately portraying each character’s unique personalities beautifully. The Battlecats are on edge, as they know every step they take can lead to a deadly trap. We see Kaleera in the treetops looking over everything to see if there are any signs of danger. Mekkar, already a seemingly smartass, questions what she can even see or why she is doing it. While Kaleera searches, our fearless leader Kelthan was covering their tracks. They had scarcely relaxed for more than a few minutes when danger struck! Mysterious Noct Spectres appear to take them down. A beautifully detailed battle scene shows that the Spectres were nothing more than ordinary soldiers. Who is this mysterious Cat that has appeared, and why is Kaleera the one to rush forward? What mysteries and secrets do our heroes hold?
Alright, to start things off with my opinion, let’s begin with the artwork. I have to say, I’m rather impressed. The line-work is exceptionally clean, the colors are fresh and detailed, and every character is so unique with their individual details. I love how it’s drawn. The backgrounds are expansive and detailed, and the fight scenes don’t feel forced or too blurry with action. Andy King and Alejandro Giraldo are definitely amazing in their respective fields for this series. I’m impressed already.
Now, let’s get to how it is written. I went into Battlecats completely blind. I did not research anything beforehand or explore Mad Cave’s rather cool map (view the page with the map and some lore here!) explaining the world soon to be seen. I wanted to let the comic tell the story on its own, and it delivers. Most origins usually have too much one aspect and not enough of others, as in too much dialogue no action, or too much action not enough dialogue to really make you care. Battlecats has it all. The characters are basically introduced, and we see a plot point. A reason for one of their own to strike without giving away a lot. I enjoyed this first issue. I think if you’re looking for a fresh take on a Medieval story, Battlecats is for you. Each cat is gorgeously drawn, and the story isn’t rushed or thin. Great first issue. I’m looking forward to starting #2.