Review by Paul Bowler
The swords, sci-fi, and fantasy adventures continue in Reyn #9, as the last Warden of Fate, Reyn, embarks on a mission to rescue Seph from the clutches of the evil Venn – but at what cost? When the Followers of Teck broke into the Venn stronghold in the Rift, they discovered the truth about the Land of Fate. With Seph captured, her father dead, Reyn and the Followers of Teck barely escaped with the lives. After helping sabotage a Venn energy cell, Reyn seemingly turned against his friends. Ignoring the advice of his spirit guide Aurora mistress of Light – the unseen entity who only Reyn can see and hear – Reyn set out with the igniter component, determined to get Seph back, but as the past begins to unfold a terrible secret emerges…
Reyn #9 continues to build on the startling revelations about the Land of Fate, as this Image Comics sci-fi fantasy series, written by Kel Symons (The Mercenary Sea), with art by Nate Stockman, colors by Paul Little, and lettering and Design by Pat Brosseau, finds Reyn betraying his allies and going it alone to rescue Seph – but to save her he will have to trade the vital component the Venn need to complete their plan.
Discovering that the Land of Fate was in reality is a habitat on board one of three giant space arks used to evacuate the world before a great catastrophe consumed the sun in Reyn #6, effectively turned this series and its premise on its head, and forced all the characters to revaluate everything they once knew as reality. Kel Symons has crafted a magnificent storyline and Reyn #9 is arguably his finest issue yet, as events take another dramatic and highly unexpected turn after Seph finds herself a prisoner in the Venn Stronghold. When she is brought before the Venn leader, we finally begin to learn more about this strange amphibian-looking warrior race, and how their presence has influenced the development of the Land of Fate.
Nate Stockman’s art for Reyn #9 is a tour-de-force of epic visuals which beautifully brings Symons’ innovative sci-fi / fantasy saga to life, as the Venn’s story unfolds; and the great cataclysm of events that follow their arrival lifts the series to even greater heights as the pieces of the past gradually begin to fall into place. The colors by Paul Little are rich and vibrant, cold metallic hues in the Venn stronghold contrasting strongly with the vivid tones used in the flashbacks, and the lettering and Design by Pat Brosseau is as excellent as ever.
A thunderous stamped, together with a tense stand-off between Reyn and the Venn, steers this issue towards a brutal and violent climax. Indeed, while not quiet the betrayal we believed, Reyn’s plan is still fraught with danger. Reyn is determined to get Seph back, and in the bloody carnage which follows the Venn face the full fury of the Warden of Fate, not everyone will make it out unscathed, and a shocking truth will be revealed…
The main thing I like about this Image Comics series is how Kel Symons always keeps us on our toes. Just when you think you know what to expect, even with all the revelations about the Venn and their role in events, Reyn #9 delivers what is perhaps the series’ biggest surprise so far, and it’s one that’s sure to be a major turning point for the series. Reyn #9 is another fantastic issue, with Kel Symons exciting storyline, and the fantastic artwork by Nate Stockman, this Image Comics series continues to go from strength to strength, and after reading this action-packed issue I simply cannot wait to see what happens next. Brilliant!
Writer: Kel Symons
Art: Nate Stockman
Colors: Paul Little
Lettering and Design: Pat Brosseau