Review: Umbral #6

Umbral06-Cover“We all do what we must to survive. It’s the strongest instinct. Which means that sometimes, when things don’t go the way we want them to…we do things we never expected.”
– Rascal

Umbral #6 closes out the first arc, ‘Out Of The Shadows’, and continues Rascal’s struggle to stay at least one step ahead of the Redguard and the Umbral. Antony Johnston and Christopher Mitten’s new dark fantasy has proven to be a top book on everyone’s pull list and if you’re not reading this wonderful world-building comic you are missing out. Each issue in the first arc has done an excellent job at creating an imaginative and inventive world that you would come to expect from the same creators of Wasteland. This latest issue completes Rascal’s first chapter and, like the season finale of your favorite television show, answers some lingering questions and prepares you for the next installment.

We last left Rascal hiding out with her friends in the Red Princess Tavern as Prince Arthir (whom we know is an Umbral) and his associates come looking for them. During their escape, Profoss Munty reveals he has a chao-dak, what appears to be a gun of some sort. He shoots the man that threatens Shayim, but loses the gun to Rascal when descending the rope from the tavern room. Prince Arthir finally catches up to Rascal and she threatens to use the gun him, but not before outing him to all his henchmen as being an Umbral himself.

When Rascal and her friends finally get to a safe spot, Dalone attempts to teach Rascal magic and we learn a little more about her life, but it raises more questions then it answers. What is her real name? What was her relationship with her mom like? I assume that’s what the Umbral that attacked Rascal was referring to when she was sleeping. What happened to her? All great questions that we can’t wait to find the answer to, but we will have to wait until the next arc or perhaps longer to find out. Dalone begins teaching Rascal magic and Profoss Munty is the perfect match with ‘science-proves-anything’ take on everything. We learn some secrets about Dalone as well in this issue and his magic powers play a prominent role. Faith versus Science might play an important part in the following arc as Rascal attempts to wield magic to take on the Umbral.

Mitten, Boyd and Mauer combine to create a visual experience in every issue and they continue their brilliant work in chapter six. I love how unique the art is in Umbral and how it looks like nothing I have seen before. The varying shades of purple make each sequence with the Umbral leap from the page. The writing mixes with the art harmoniously making this a comic book not to be missed. I can’t wait to read the next chapter in Rascal’s journey and if it’s anything like the first one then we are in for a great ride.

Thoughts and Discussion

– Who was the man eavesdropping on the king and queen?

– Who was Rascal’s mom, if that is who the Umbral was referencing?

– What is Rascal’s real name and what was her life like before she took control of the Oculus?

– I wonder what the rules are for who or what the Umbral can turn into.

Story: Antony Johnston Art: Christopher Mitten, Jordan Boyd, Thomas Mauer
Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy