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Review: Rise #1

What the show Game Of Thrones get so well is how treacherous ruling a kingdom is. Many times, throughout literature, tv shows ad movies that take place during medieval times, rarely do they get into the turmoil of usurpers and bureaucrats nipping at the heels at the ruler, only to slit their throat the first chance they get. This even worse when rulers are of an age where they would normally not be in power, which makes life even more perilous as they are going against everything they had been thought up to that point and occupying stations which they only envision themselves years later.

This why in the latest season of Game of Thrones many fans became enamored with Liana Mormont, as she was as daunting a ruler, as any in the show, and this was despite her age. She is not an anomaly, not only in literature but also in history, as young rulers tend to become either pawns or masters of their own destiny. The first one I knew of, growing up is Pu-Yi, the child emperor of China and the subject of the film, The Last Emperor. In Don Aguillo’s brilliant Rise, we find one such sovereign, who has been charged to rule a kingdom, one she does not know, soon after her parents’ disappearance.

An assassin looking for the queen Zakaiah, enters the temple near her ancestral home and kingdom, Pacifica, where Duncan, a priest leading her band through site meets his fate. We meet her band of guides, as they find out what jus happened and what that they mean for her monarchy, as they strategize on what to do next, while the interim royal court looks to make their own play for the throne. As Zak, Lucas, Senka, and Frix , get closer to a temple for sanctuary, they run into a soul stealing monster along their path. By issue’s end, they reach the temple and where they soon find about the casualties that occurred due to the threat to the throne and, they may have found a new ally.

Overall, an engaging and sweeping first issue, that feels like a roller coaster with all the action happening across these few pages. The story by Aguillo is dense, engaging, and pulls no punches. The art by Aguillo looks like matte paintings and is very much soulful. Altogether, a powerhouse debut issue for a story that will revamp the medieval fantasy genre.

Story: Don Aguillo Art: Don Aguillo
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy