Review – Plagued: The Miranda Chronicles Vol. 3 (BHP Comics)

Publisher: BHP Comics
Writer: Gary Chudleigh
Artwork: Tanya Roberts

And so we reach the third and final chapter of Plagued: The Miranda Chronicles from BHP Comics.  The first couple of volumes saw series co-creators Gary Chudleigh and Tanya Roberts introduce us to reformed witch hunter Thomas Mackie, his talking dog Dex and eponymous rebel witch Miranda in their attempts to cure the world of a deadly plague that has been falsely attributed to witches.

This final volume sees our heroes being forced out of hiding when legendary witch hunter Salem concocts a plan to wipe out witches once and for all, and sees them crossing paths with a dangerous witch coven that Miranda has had previous dealings with and whose help she wants absolutely no part of.

There are some interesting twists and turns here, some expected and some genuinely surprising, and both Chudleigh and Roberts make sure the whole thing crackles with the same lively, exciting, and occasionally silly energy as the first two volumes.  That said, this final volume does perhaps feel a little more ‘young adult’ than ‘all-ages’, particularly with the introduction of the coven, and the rather shocking (to say the least!) way the bad guys decide to try and turn the citizens against magic-users again.

For me, the resolution to Salem’s investigation into the Plague is perhaps a little disappointing, particularly as it seems to undo a lot of what came before, but he ends up playing a vital role in the final showdown and cementing his role as the series’ “big bad” – a role he fills with real gusto here.

As always, Robertson does a great job with her expressive artwork, helping to nail the beats of the story.  The backgrounds are admittedly little basic and unfinished-looking in places, but that only serves to draw focus to the characters themselves, and there’s some real dynamism and creative framing on display during the epic final showdown.

The colour palette is heavy with the same dark blues, greens and purples as the previous books, and some of the magical effects used along the way really pop as a result of the sharpness of the colours used.

Also, a should probably be expected, things end in an impressively upbeat fashion, and readers will get a real kick out of the smile-raising epilogue Chudleigh throws in.

Upbeat, funny, visually exciting and with an impressive message of inclusion, forgiveness and doing the right thing, Plagued remains an easy book to recommend, particularly – once again – if you have younger comic readers in your life.

You can grab yourself a copy of all three volumes of Plagued: The Miranda Chronicles from the BHP Comics Online Store (CLICK HERE).

ceejThe writer of this piece was: Craig Neilson-Adams (aka Ceej)
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