Publisher: Ahoy Comics
Writer: Mariah McCourt
Artist: Soo Lee
Colourist: Pippa Bowland
Lettering: Rob Steen
Release Date: 29th July 2020
With all things apparently quiet on the Western Front, and lacking the guidance that Peruvia had hoped for from the guardians, Lottie and Peruvia decide to take some drastic (and probably ill-advised) measures and enter the subconscious realms in search of answers.
This latest issue is all about choices. In traversing the worlds of Lottie’s subconscious and the landscapes created by memories and the potential of past, present, and future champions, each is faced with different challenges and fears. The choice, as with all things, is a test. Lottie sees the ugliness and the fear, and the twisting of the person she has come to trust. Peruvia however sees only the power in Lottie – much more power she has than she thought imaginable – and how it is wasted on her.
Hand on heart, I feel a little betrayed by this issue. Don’t get me wrong, I still think this is a great series and it’s one I’m enjoying very much but I’m disappointed to think that Peruvia is so easily duped. Despite her curmudgeonly exterior, and apparent frustration at being saddled with the oldest and worst-equipped champion in the history of champions, I didn’t think that she was actually jealous of the power Lottie has inherited. I deeply and sincerely hope that this merely a fleeting blip in her judgement and that Lottie doesn’t have to kick her ass from here to tea time!
Betrayal and disappointment aside, this is another solid issue, The scope of what Lottie can become is far greater than what we’ve previously seen, and the glimpse into the powers controlling the champions promises great things to come. There is something of Neil Gaiman’s dreamscapes in this issue, and it’s an aspect of the story that I’d definitely like to see developed further. These are characters that I’ve grown fond of over the last three issues, and I really want to see where this series takes them. I want to see them both reach their full potential and I’m fully invested in seeing Peruvia rediscover her calling.
The artwork in this issue has some real high points. I particularly liked the previous champions being depicted as portraits, a cross between family photos and a memorial wall. I also really liked that when you follow their progress through the dreamscapes, they are walking the same path together, despite whatever sideshow is thrown in to challenge them individually. This, for me, really highlights how badly Peruvia missed the point of the exercise.
I sincerely hope that either I’ve completely misjudged Peruvia or she is given a swift sharp adjustment to her attitude in short order so that we can move on.
[PREVIEW ARTWORK – CLICK TO ENLARGE]
The writer of this piece was: Mark Scott
Mark Tweets from @macoy_comicgeek