Indie Comics Spotlight: Princeless 2, Mortifera, Executive Assistant Iris
by Jonathan Pilley (@omnicomic)
Princeless Vol. 2 #2
Feistiness in princesses isn’t exactly par for the course. Princesses with a penchant for wanting freedom, breaking out and flying around on dragons are something else entirely, with Adrienne one of the best examples. The issue is written by Jeremy Whitley and illustrated by Emily Martin.
Adrienne and Bedelia continue their quest to find Angelica and free her from being a princess. The bard is in tow as well, showing them the possibility that there’s something to life about doing what you love. The traveling trio ends up in a town full with life, shopping and crafts, giving Adrienne something of a surprise at the end. The trio is seemingly moving in the opposite direction of the King, seeking to find the whereabouts of his missing wife. He shows that he’s every bit the warrior that he is the king, handling himself with ease in combat and making decisions. He even shows similarities to one of the other characters tracking Adrienne and Bedelia.
As the second issue in the second volume, things have slowed down a little bit. Whitley gives the reader some time to get to know the king a little better, considering he’s at the center of pretty much the entire story in a sense. It’s great to see the similarities between him and the tracker, showing that both are capable warriors. He also shows many characteristics shared with Adrienne, which makes sense considering their lineage.
Martin’s art continues to impress. There’s a lot to be amazed by with the panels and how she handles the variation in scenes. There’s a good mix of walking and fighting, both of which Martin manages to illustrate with relative ease. Some of the colors are a little dark at times, making it difficult to discern some of the action, but it’s not a deal-breaker or anything.
Princeless Vol. 2 #2 helps flesh out the Princeless universe a bit by giving other characters more time to show themselves. While Adrienne is the star of the show, she’s only as good as her supporting cast. The twist at the end will definitely move the story forward in a positive way. The cover even manages to take comic covers to task, keeping with the same strong message the series has delivered to date. It’s a great second issue worth ordering.
Princeless Vol. 2 #2 is in Previews now for a March launch.
Mortifera #2 & #3
Demons are a fickle bunch. If they’re not seeking to enslave mankind, they’re seeking to wreak as much as havoc as possible. Or they’re destined to serving some master for whatever purpose. Generally, they find common causes to rally around; however, there are times when not all demons think alike, as is the case in Mortifera #2 & #3 from Mortifera Comics. The issues are written by Stephen Frost and illustrated by Sarah Partington.
Catherine and Ethan are sibling demon hunters, joining with a demon summoned named Durin. Durin has teamed up with the duo to go after Kanisus, another demon who recently ran roughshod through the Demon’s Keep, a stronghold protecting a myriad of demon blood and weapons. The premise behind Mortifera is that demons can be summoned to do the bidding of the summoner and then they’re free to walk the Earth. That brings Durin into the equation. He’s summoned to aid in tracking down Kanisus, who’s determined to destroy the world. Throw in some castle crashing, undead warriors and other demons doing the bidding of Kanisus and you’ve got a medieval tale with higher stakes. With Catherine and Ethan as the last in the Mortifera bloodline, it’s up to them to stop Kanisus, but it won’t be easy.
The tale is actually quite intriguing. The Mortifera as demon hunters is quite effective and is similar to the Belmont lineage in Castlevania. To say that it’s a copy isn’t fair to Frost as it isn’t. There’s a lot of history though by positioning the story around Catherine and Ethan, as the Mortifera and Exturminata have spent centuries battling demons. Durin and Kanisus are both demons on the opposite sides of the spectrum, while both maintain sound reasoning in their motivations.
The second and third issues pitch a lot of the medieval travel than battle. That’s ok though, because it seems to be building up to an inevitable face-off between Kanisus and the Mortifera crew. Durin is a quiet demon, but he shows why he’s worth being summoned, showcasing a talent in fighting. He’s also well-traveled, demonstrating a knowledge of history that can only come with being an almost ageless demon.
Partington’s art is equally matched. It’s very stylish in a way, relying on an animated feel to set the tone for the medieval setting. Durin is illustrated with a calm ferocity, while Kanisus showcases more of a bloodthirst. Her demons are all shown with their actions reflecting their personalities. One of the demons looks a lot like Wrex in Mass Effect, right down the wide, toothy grin.
There’s a fairly big turn of events in the third issue that shows Frost isn’t afraid to take risks with the series. The stakes are stacked up even more against the Mortifera, with Durin likely playing an even bigger role than he has to this point. Kanisus has been fairly quiet in terms of actual presence in the, ahem, present, but he’s a big demon with bigger ambitions. Should be interesting to see them all clash.
Mortifera #3 is available now at the Mortifera website.
Executive Assistant: Iris Volume 3 #2
The Executive Extinction agenda presses on, with Iris at the center of it. It’s a big deal in the Aspen universe, so it only makes sense that one of their marquis characters happens to be primary character throughout. The storyline continues in Executive Assistant: Iris Volume 3 #2. The issue is written by David Wohl, illustrated by Alex Lei, colored by Teodoro Gonzalez and lettered by Josh Reed.
Iris and Rose square off not once, but twice in the second issue. It’s a fairly matched battle between the two, as Rose is definitely more than capable enough of handling Iris (and vice versa). The two are fighting somewhat because of Lily, but primarily because Iris suspects Rose of being involved with the kidnapping of John Wheeler, the employer of Iris. After a knockdown, drag-out fight between the two, Iris learns who kidnapped Wheeler (a Russian named Tzvetomir Ivanov) and the return of another EA.
For an issue with very little in the way of dialogue, Wohl effectively makes action speak louder than words. The bulk of the issue features Lily and Rose getting out their frustrations with one another, culminating in Iris getting the information she required. That information brought her closer to Wheeler and saving him, but things are looking bleak. All of that is told through the unspoken words, with the key players acting a way that really tells the story. That’s the strongest part of the plot in the second issue. The characters and their backstories really come together well despite two-thirds of the issue being a fight. How Tzvetomir and Iris react the events at the end of the issue will be interesting and it’s likely that the two won’t share many conversations in the ensuing issues of the event. It’s a story that pays tribute to the EA universe and its fans, while at the same time creating a new world for them to follow.
Lei’s art is fairly nondescript. The fight scenes are shown with some decent detail, but some of the wider scenes that seem to be zoomed out look a little vague. Rose’s anatomy is also a little overkill, with every panel of her showcasing her figure more than anything. Lei’s art is consistent with his other Executive Assistant art, helping keep the universe feel cohesive.
Executive Assistant: Iris Volume 3 #2 keeps things going in the right direction for the story. Unfortunately, it’s the wrong direction for Iris and her life, as the events of the series will change her life forever. How she reacts is worth checking out and makes for some very interesting reading. Iris is such a strong character and the premise behind the Executive Assistants is quite intriguing indeed.
Executive Assistant: Iris Volume 3 #2 is in stores now.