- Story: Kurt Busiek
- Art: Benjamin Dewey
- Colors: Jordie Bellaire
- Letters: John Roshell, Jimmy Betancourt
- Publisher: Image Comics
The Champion has come through the portal, slain Bison warriors and the anxiety of the survivors has eased a bit. Lives of luxury have transformed into survival overnight. Unfortunately, personal politics are still in play as the wizard Sandhorst continues to bark for authority, opposing Gharta at every turn and doing all he can to cling to any vestige of power his rank once offered him. Aid, it seems, comes from an unlikely source: a cockroach riding trader named Goodfoot. She is all too willing to help and quickly attaches herself to Sandhorst’s side, buoying his arrogance as she talks of treasures buried in the rubble under her breath. What part she has to play in this story is not revealed until the end, but it will not be making anyone’s lives any easier, apart from hers.
Third issue in and we get an interesting glimpse into the Great Champion’s backstory. It is not a spoiler to reveal he is from a different time period, but I will say I was pleasantly surprised when I found out where he comes from. I was not a big fan of Busiek having the Champion thinking all that was going on was a dream, but I can excuse it since the guy is talking to a bunch of giant animals who wield magic. What I did enjoy was his personality; a less freaked out, time displaced dude and more a ready to rock, figure-this-all-out-after-I-keep-us-from-dying badass. He has a moment of confused and irritated rage, but he gets over it in a realistic amount of time given his focused warrior background.
Though the Champion took center stage this issue there were a couple of other great personalities showcased in this book. Goodfoot is a coyote who is quite obviously a hustler even before her actions at the end of the book. She has a ton of charisma and I could not help reading her dialogue in a southern twang. Sandhorst too had some fun moments that continued to expose both his arrogance and ridiculous denial of the situation at hand. When you care about finding a specific era bed-salvaged in a demolished floating city filled with dead citizens (to put in your make shift study when you should be trying to help everyone else), you are a special kind of asshole. All around, issue three had some great moments that allowed for both a pausing breath and some tension building.
There’s not much I can say about the art besides it is still fantastic. Every panel is a painting and Dewey does not make things easy on himself. He could have chosen to draw a decent number of survivors similar in species or keep the scenes sparser to alleviate some of the workload, but he doesn’t. Each person he draws is an individual animal unless they are another background characters child and no matter how near or far anything is it is richly detailed. The Autumnlands: Tooth and Claw continues to be a consistently gorgeous book that I cannot wait to crack open every time an issue is released.
This book is filled with great moments that help give a larger sense of the world created and show off the characters. I am genuinely excited every time an issue comes out because this is what a comic book is meant to be. If you have not started this series yet, do it now.
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