Mind Capsules – Birthright #18 and New Avengers #15

Birthright #18
Birthright #18

Writer – Joshua Williamson
Artist – Andrei Bressan
Colours – Adriano Lucas
Letters – Pat Brousseau

The saga of a family fractured by one child’s disappearance and the eventual return of said child now fully grown continues in the most fantastical way courtesy of Joshua Williamson, Andrei Bressan and Adriano Lucas. Mikey, having been missing for only a few years is now a grown adult and infected by a mystical menace called a Nevermind thanks to Lore, villain-supreme of Terrenos. Of late, that Nevermind was torn from Mikey by his brother Brennan who has recently come into powers of his own and then, realizing that he made a big mistake, now has to somehow try and get the Nevermind to merge back with Mikey before he dies. Williamson also splits his focus from the main group to that of another featuring Mikey’s mom and his girlfriend/wife Rya who is ready to give birth any minute by the looks of it and if she happens to do so on Earth, there is no guarantee that she will live through it. The split between the two different sets of characters is a good thing as it keeps the various stories moving along at a good pace, but sometimes you wish that he would just focus upon the one, especially as he is ramping the story up to a massive confrontation, one bigger than what is already taking place. The characters in the book remain as interesting as ever with Brennan finally coming into his own and getting some new-found confidence along with the previously mentioned powers. You still have to wonder if Mikey was really the chosen one, or if it is in fact Brennan – the main reason being the presence of the Nevermind. Enoch and the rest of the mages seem pretty convinced that Mikey is corrupted and cannot be trusted, nor allowed to live and while at first it was Mikey hunting them, now they are hunting him. Sameal whom we only know of a little, seems like he is telling it straight, but the man is still so mysterious that the reader can only wonder if his intentions are as pure as he makes them out to be. A fractured family, a tainted hero, ulterior motives and mysteries galore make Birthright a continually good read and that is a good thing if there ever were one.

4 out of 5

New Avengers #15
New Avengers #15

Writer – Al Ewing
Artist – Paco Medina
Inker – Juan Vlasco
Colours – Jesus Aburtov
Letters – VC’s Clayton Cowles

Plans upon schemes upon mysteries are all revealed in the fourth part of the latest story arc by Al Ewing as everything finally comes together and gets revealed. Ewing spins a web like a Miss Marple whodunnit and he shows us how Roberto knew about S.H.I.E.L.D., about the Maker and how every decision that he has made no matter how controversial or seemingly bonkers, has led to his coming out on top. All of it is quite intricate and of course, a little farfetched if it were to take place in the real world, but it makes for great drama and Ewing really knows how to keep you hooked from the first page to the last. The book has a ton of content as everything swirls around like a whirlwind, the pace is so fast. We have a hero return in the form of Warlock, a hero lost, a hero reclaimed and a team reunited. If it had not been apparent before this issue, Roberto has what it takes to lead a team and it is here that his genius truly comes to life. So too does the team prove they are present for a reason – from Songbird to White Tiger to those newly arrived like Cannonball and Warlock. Of course, Ewing also knows how to keep us coming back for more and just when you think everything might be all right, the last page of the book tells the reader that a happy ending may not be in the cards for at least a couple members of the team. Joining Ewing once again is the Paco Medina who makes this book a thing of beauty. All that remains now is to see what the fallout from all of this will be. What will become of the relationship between A.I.M. and S.H.I.E.L.D. and what of the Maker? There is no chance that he will simply give up, in fact, it will probably just make the man more determined than ever. Though it might seem like it is over – almost, nothing in this book is ever like it really seems, which truthfully, makes for a really good book.

4 out of 5

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