Writer: Brenden Fletcher and Karl Kerschl
Artist: Karl Kerschl and MSassyK
My review for Isola #4 let everyone know I was in love with this series. Unique fairytale story with what might be the best artwork of 2018. There is so much to like here. This book closes out the first arc of the series, so let’s see how they did.
This might be the briskest comic book I have ever read. Most panels have no dialogue. The panels WITH dialogue have very little of it. I don’t have a complaint except for this issue was just an extremely quick read. When we last left Olwyn and Rook, Olwyn was injured, and we were left wondering if she was going to survive. In this issue, Rook and Olwyn must flee the refuge they had found. Aside from more of the amazing artwork, what got me in this issue was emotion. Rook is absolutely committed to Olwyn, and Fletcher and Kerschl capture this so well. Your heart breaks for Rook as she struggles to hold onto her Queen. If you have been following this adventure from the beginning, then you will feel the despair Rook is going through. I’m not sold on how they wrapped up the first arc, but I can’t fault this team. They have brought us one of the year’s best comics, and even if this issue ends on a flat note, the next issue (released in January of 2019) will be worth waiting for.
As I said earlier, Fletcher and Kerschl are an amazing team that has given us a treasure. If it wasn’t for the emotions that drip from this issue, then this would have been a failed ending to a perfect arc. To see the world they have built and then hitting us so hard here in the heart just makes me more astounded by these two. I will follow them into any comic from here on out because of this story arc alone.
Now that I have fawned all over the writing, it is time to give the art the same treatment. Karl Kerschl and MSassyK blew a lot of minds this year with this artwork. Beautiful is an understatement. I haven’t read every comic this year, but I have seen enough to know that Isola is in a class of its own. You have to pick this series up for the art alone. Every detail, design, and color is fascinating.
I know what you are thinking: “is it really that good?” Overall, yes it is. Not this issue alone, but what preceded it and what will come next, is and will be, “that good”. I don’t see how a comic fan can go wrong with this series. If you can, go find the Prologue and start there before picking up the first volume that will be arriving in October. I give this issue lesser praise, but the first arc is one of my highest recommendations right now for characters, story, and arc. Pick it up.
The end of the first arc doesn't quite hit the mark, but the arc in its entirety is nothing short of stellar.