Friday, August 7, 2015

The Classic: Volume Four

I had a good chunk of Volume Four of Errant Story written when I realized I was just reiterating events.  That's fine and all for the earlier volumes, as that is kind of the point.  There's a lot of backstory, setting up of initial motivations and the key event that sets everything off.  But that's not really explaining why YOU should read it.

Volume Four is when the movements really begin.  Characters stop introducing themselves and start acting as characters.  We get hints of their attitudes and motives before this, maybe some actions, but those are brief if anything.  Here, we see them in full action, and the consequences of each of these will echo throughout the comic.

Jon and Sarine part ways, not pleasantly at least from Jon's perspective.  Losing Meji echoes losing his sister earlier in life, and he goes off to do the one thing he's best at:  Killing people.  Sarine does ask him, practically begs him, to look for Meji and Ian, but he knows it's a fool's errand.  Like Sara, Meji has gone to who knows where and he likely won't ever find her, and he's probably more than a little scared to do so.  He's not really equipped to deal with magically overpowered, well, anything, and he knows it, so why bother?  Getting angry at Sarine, it's more a defense mechanism.  He's been alone for a long time, and any attachments, especially one that tends to wipe the memory of shared moments, is not something he really wants or needs.  The fact that he doesn't know or particularly like what's going on doesn't help either.

Sarine reveals quite a bit, mostly that she really doesn't like her own people.  Like at all.  The fact that they've been deliberately hiding things from, well, everyone, really ticks her off.  It's clear she really doesn't like the job she has, she's every bit the assassin Jon is, only her list of targets is whole groups of people, and she has to be judge, jury and executioner for each and every one of them.  And she really hates the arrogance of the Elf leadership, confronting them with what she knows, kind of knowing that things are going to get worse.  So she hides things, like that she knows Meji and that Jon was with them from the start.  Then once she knows things are going to hell in a handbasket, she leaves, making a beeline for the one person in all the world she thinks can help.

Sara has gotten the least amount of panel time of all the "main" characters.  It's mostly because she has almost no emotions, honestly.  We finally get a brief glimpse of her past, VERY brief especially compared to everyone else.  Still in it's brevity, it gives us a very good look at her as she grew up, what was instilled in her, and why she doesn't even blink when told to kill her own brother.  That fight is actually really well done, it feels like it takes forever, but the build up is well done, and when the final blows are struck it is quick and to the point.  It's funny how the arrogance that Sarine so dispises at home, almost gets her killed here, and how Jon's own belief that he can't really compete is proven completely wrong, all in the a few pages.  Both are completely surprised, and it will prove to be a valuable lesson in the future.

Meanwhile, Ian is drunk on power and Meji is along for the ride.  Watching Ian go from the highest moment of his life to the lowest in the course of a few pages could have been much more soul crushing, but he's constantly holding back.  It's not until afterwards the true depths of his depression become evident:  He's basically suicidal at this point of the story.  It's understandable, of course, and perfectly reasonable.  He tries, TRIES, to turn his new found power into something that benefits everyone he can, but it is hurting him, probably killing him.

And then there's Meji.  I think she shows something here that was basically absent from, well, the entire comic until now:  she does care about someone other than herself.  She's not scared of Ian throughout, she's scared FOR him.  She carries him along at one point when he's nearly out of power and kind of drunk like.  She makes him take breaks, to the point of actually punching him in the face and threating people to get away before he kills himself healing them.  Then, when he tries to raise the dead, while she says "you might kill me" it comes off less as she's desperate to save her life, and more that she's trying to convince him not to do something that could kill them both.  The fact that she stays AT ALL is played off as being "well I don't want to walk home" but really, she can't leave him again, especially not like this.  It's actually a character to her, especially outside of the whiny brat we've seen for much of the comic.  Scary Little Devil Girl or no, she  can and does care about someone other than herself.

The various characters actually get to show the traits we've only been given the briefest of hints at up until now, and there is some growth.  The comic is finally going strong and will only get better from here.  Next time Volume Five, until then kiddies.

1 comment:


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