Comic Review: “White Ash Presents – Glarien” (Scout Comics)
First off, it admittedly took me a bit longer than I would have like to finish this review, but White Ash Presents: Glarien is a one-shot issue, so it’s not like we’re two or three issues behind, or anything. Thank God for the little things. The issue is based on the White Ash universe created by Charlie Stickney several years ago, and while I can’t say I’ve read any of the series before this issue, what I’ve seen so far really intrigues me.
The White Ash series appears to be pretty complex with multi-generational storylines, and this issue takes that formula and encapsulates it into a three-part anthology story that offers snapshots of Glarien’s adventures spanning hundreds of years. Glarien is seemingly an important figure in the White Ash series, so taking an issue to properly flesh out some of the finer details of her character is sure to be welcomed by fans of the series.
One interesting aspect of this issue is a different artist drew each part, with series’ artist Conor Hughes returning for Part 3, while artists Romina Moranelli and Yishan Li, who provided art in Parts 1 and 2, respectively. Stickney, meanwhile, wrote the entire issue, with series’ colorist Fin Cramb returning, as well. The issue serves to introduce the reader to Glarien and sets up a good entry point for newcomers like me to the series. Speaking of which, Glarien is a total badass. Think of a female elf version of Geralt of Rivia from The Witcher series, and you’re fairly close to what you get with Glarien. By that, I mean she has a vivacious appetite for sex, booze and violence – much like our favorite Witcher. Also like Geralt, she has some pretty intense nicknames that suggest she might not be the best dinner guest.
“Lady Death Sword”
“Bringer of Eternal Night”
”Ravager of the Red Plainsmen?!”
You almost feel sorry for those poor old “Red Plainsmen” and how they were ravaged.
OK, without giving too many details away, our story begins in Alfheim about 1,800 years ago, where a group of mercenaries ambush Glarien inside an inn in hopes of killing her and getting the reward money. She makes quick work of her foes, but unbeknownst to her, she’s poisoned and finds herself in an unsavory position when she’s saved by a young bard named Thane.
We then jump forward 1,000 years in Part 2, where Glarien and Thane are now stranded on Earth in 1220. They must forge a truce with dwarves to dig deep into the ground to find and open a portal back to Alfheim. The site of this parley is in the Talligewi Territory, which happens to become present day White Ash, Pennsylvania (where the main series takes place).
The third part takes place in 1872, where Glarien and Thane are now working with humans to continue the excavation to find the portal. In the time since we’ve seen them last, the two have been busy and have built a large industrial empire. Along with this, they’re dealing with unrest amongst their workers and even death threats that threaten both Glarien and Thane.
That’s really all I’m comfortable revealing, but trust me that there’s a lot of story packed in here.
In each part, we get some really awesome fight scenes, with Glarien disposing of her foes in some creative ways, like making a man stab himself in the heart with his own knife and then snapping his neck for good measure. Yeesh, remind me not to piss her off.
Overall, I really enjoyed each artist’s style, as the issue certainly didn’t shy away from sex and violence, while also telling an interesting story. Stickney’s writing was solid, but there were some instances of poor dialogue here and there. In the end, I thoroughly enjoyed White Ash Presents: Glarien, and I’m genuinely intrigued by this issue enough to want to seek out more of the series.
If you’d like to learn more about White Ash, you can visit the official website here.
Thanks for reading!
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