Skybourne #5
Written by: Frank Cho
Art by: Frank Cho and Marcio Menyz
Published by: BOOM! Studios

Reviewed by: Ryan McLelland

I’m a monster Frank Cho fan but in reading through Skybourne I feel I got a decent story in a world that could have been explored much, much more. As Skybourne #5 is the last issue of the series (for now) we get to the fight we’ve been waiting for between Thomas Skybourne and Merlin – the evil wizard trying to destroy the world. Last issue was the best of the entire series with some great humor mixed in with some fantastic action. Thomas and a group of soldiers fought through a slew of mythical creatures to try and stop Merlin.

Merlin’s quest has included reclaiming the sword Excalibur (which he did in an earlier issue) and opening Pandora’s Gate so he can destroy all life on Earth. Because? Reasons, of course! The problem is by the time Thomas reaches him Merlin has already succeeded in opening the Gate.  End of the world?  Hopefully not.  This is where the fun begins.

The issue also sees the return of Thomas’s sister Grace into the battle.  As the inside cover has told us for five issues we know that Lazarus had three immortal children.  Thomas and Grace are two of them.  Abraham is the third but we’ve never seen him.  Of course figuring out who Abraham is may be the easiest mystery of all time.

The fun of this issue is the big battle between Grace and Thomas vs. Merlin.  Will the duo triumph against the mystical wizard?  Or will the world be destroyed thanks to Merlin?  I guess that’s the fun of reading this issue.  Honestly I felt the book could have went either way.  I do approve of the ending – the last page was particularly funny.

I thought overall that Skybourne was a very decent miniseries.  Now that the tale is complete I found it to be quite short.  There’s not much filler.  There is the plot of the comic (stop Merlin) and then our heroes go to stop Merlin.  This is an Earth with fairy tale creatures and immortals but it really feels limited.  We never get to true dabble in the world we immerse ourselves in.  Cho is an amazing writer but I think a co-writer may have been able to help him flesh out ideas.  Maybe one of the editors over at BOOM!  The story isn’t bad or awful by any means, I just would have like a bit more UMPH.

As for Cho’s art this is the best it has looked in years.  I’ve been a fan of Cho since I used to go visit my girlfriend down at UMD so I’ve known his work for too long.  This book just looks AMAZZZZZZZZZZZZZING.  For a man who is a master of the pen and pencil to do a book that looks like this, it makes me want to stand up and applaud him.  Frank – this is some of the best art you’ve ever done.  Take a bow.

Overall Skybourne is a great title and I think my problems with the book are just my problems.  I want more story and I want more exposition.  Maybe Cho just wanted to do a straightforward adventure and didn’t want more story or exposition.  So who am I to tell him how to do his book?  If I was to sit down and tell Cho anything I’d look him in the eye and simply says, “Bring back Liberty Meadows.”  I went back and forth between a B+ and an A- for Skybourne #5 but I ultimately decided on…


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