Ara fills her new companion Nylese in on how she came to be on her journey to rescue her mother. She explains how Torinthal managed to completely level her home kingdom of Janna and take Queen Luna with little resistance. But unbeknownst to the sorcerer, Ara experienced her transformation when left behind bandits attempt to claim her. In the present, Ara and Nylese come upon a desolate village where they encounter a seer who could help Ara find the path to her mother. But the seer has been blinded by the loss of her child in a well where would-be rescuers never returned.
J.T. Krul is starting to reveal more of the story while at the same time managing to find room to throw in a venture for Ara to engage in. Krul is hitting a number of notes quite right, further enhancing my fascination with the world he has created. I am quite curious to know more of the mythology unfolding and it is written in such a way that Krul put a lot of care into making sure it is fully developed before starting work on the story. The problem with this issue, though, is pacing. There are a few scenes, in particular the sacking of Janna, that looks and feels rushed. I can understand the creative direction because it is taken through the perspective of someone in hiding, but I still think more could have been explained.
As mentioned before, illustrator Paolo Pantalena continues what is no doubt the trademark of Aspen Comics for cheesecake. I can’t recall seeing so many tushy shots, exposed or otherwise, in any other comic book even in today’s era where sensuality is key in presentation of women. But if one can accept that, as I have, than it opens up for one to see some really good artwork on display. The action sequences are both dynamic and rather dramatic. A scene where Ara fights with a creature is drawn in an exciting manner that it could easily be featured in an animated film. The coloring by Brett Smith helps to further develop a unique visual of the world and its characters. It can argued as being one of the more beautiful looking comic books out there.
I’m sure there are readers who will look at Jirni with skepticism. Because it is an Aspen Comics title, the cheesecake illustrations are plentiful. But by looking past it, there is a unique and fascinating story being developed. J.T. Krul is doing a fair job telling the story of a world he clearly worked hard to create and the illustrations by Paolo Pantalena are actually fun to look at. I can say with great honesty that Jirni is better than a lot of books out there and would recommended readers to give it a chance. It just might surprise you as it continues to do to me.
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