RED THORN

Art At­tack

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Reviews - Red Thorn’s cast of crea­tures in­clude mur­der­ous dwarves the Red Caps and a river de­mon called a Skel­ly­coat.

re­leased OUT NOW! Pub­lisher Ver­tigo

Writer David Bail­lie

Artist Meghan Het­rick

Best known for pen­ning Fu­ture Shocks for 2000 AD, David Bail­lie has now fol­lowed that fa­mil­iar cre­ative path lead­ing to Ver­tigo for his first on­go­ing se­ries, which draws on his Scot­tish roots.

The first is­sue opens with main char­ac­ter Isla Mac­in­tosh ar­riv­ing in Glas­gow to track down her miss­ing sis­ter. The city is ef­fec­tively brought to life by Meghan Het­rick’s vi­brant, manga- es­que art, and Bail­lie high­lights not just its un­der­ly­ing mythol­ogy but also its rock and roll his­tory. So it’s al­most dis­ap­point­ing when Isla crosses over to an al­ter­nate fan­ta­systyle land ruled over by the an­cient pa­gan demi- god Thorn.

Isla’s quest to dis­cover her sis­ter’s fate is swiftly side­lined as she be­comes em­broiled with Thorn, and Bail­lie throws too many el­e­ments into what’s quite a heady mix, leav­ing some plot­lines and char­ac­ters frus­trat­ingly un­de­vel­oped. Isla is en­dowed with the abil­ity to bring draw­ings to life, and it’s re­vealed that one of them fa­tally stabbed one of her teach­ers, but three is­sues in no con­se­quences for those ac­tions have yet been men­tioned.

Still, with such an in­trigu­ing cen­tral prom­ise, Red Thorn is worth stick­ing with for the long haul; hope­fully Bail­lie will pace his sto­ries bet­ter in later arcs. Stephen Jewell

She didn’t take the “No” vote well.

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