This issue does the same thing on two very different fronts. It maneuvers chess pieces into place for the war to come. Kippa is in a realm making a difference one way. Meanwhile, Maika begins to understand the maneuvering and mechinations of the known world….along with her father.

Cover To Cover

The cover for this issue is as beautiful and detailed as always. It really has nothing to do wit the issue inside, but that doesn’t stop it from being gorgeous. It looks to be Maika and Zinn spinning in smoke and debris. The interesting thing is that Maika now has an arm grafted where Zinn emerges, so that picture isn’t even possible, but we will come back to that in a bit.

A Snuggly Bundle of Special

For 21 issues now, We have followed Kippa as she tags along with Maika on her quests and adventures. She is a cute, little fox girl, but overall she appears to be nothing special. A few clues have dropped here and there that suggest she might be more than she appears, but so far no evidence.

Of course now that she fled into the cave of no return, we begin to see her gifts as they emerge. Kippa sees what is called a Dracul. The creature appears to be a giant shadow dragon demon of some sort. Not only can Kippa see it, but she communicates with it as well. Her little, blue bounty hunter companion, who is also trying to collect the bounty on Kippa’s head, cannot understand the giant demon. Although the creature looks fierce, Kippa carries on a conversation with it like it were a puppy.

I love the addition of the little Bounty Hunter. While Kippa chats, the bounty hunter is flipping out, thinking death is at hand. I really like her antics and hope she stays with Kippa for a few issues more. They make a good pairing.

I really like the conversation Kippa and the Demon have. The demon seems largely peaceful and other worldly, but when needed it feels like it will tear reality itself apart. Kippa and the demon kinda strike up a friendship. To me this feels like it will be very important down the road when the actual war starts. Kippa now has a very powerful ally to call upon.

Back In the Real Word

Maika sits with powerful warlords who betrayed their empires to follow her father. They discuss the joining of the Dusk and Dawn courts, but her father seems unconcerned. I love scenes like this as it adds real depth and history to a story. We hear shadows of what might be and re-tellings of what was. It also shows how opposite Maika is from her father.

Her father seems shady. Is it that his confidence is so immense he thinks he knows all? Or does he possess some sort of third sight that allows him to see glimpses of the future? He acts like he has all the answers in the war to come.

Maika and Her Father

He and Maika continue the spat. Maika doesn’t seem to be able to access Zimm now that she has an arm grafted onto her. Does the demon sleep, ignore her, or does the arm inhibit the bond?

Her father lectures Maika on family and responsibility, even though Maika could care less about either. She wants Kippa back first and foremost. While they talk though, I thought there was a brilliant line from her father that really stood out. At one point he states “It is the curse of the young to squander what their elders died to possess.” That statement really has a lot of deep meaning to it even in our world today.

When her father shows off his sanctuary, he sounds like he has softened. He sounds like he truly believes in the importance of family and wants peace. It is the final lines though that show this creature is still dark and ruthless. He talks of studying the infiltrators. We then see a corpse harnessed to a table for a post-mortem study…I hope.

Kippa Finds A Crow

After Kippa has the ferry monster hold her bounty hunter friend so she can escape, she stumbles upon troopers searching for the crow. Kippa finds Lord Corvin, badly hurt. Kippa runs interference so he can escape their search. Their struggle aren’t over yet.

Final Thoughts

I warned potential readers long ago that this is not a fast moving series, but that is a good thing. It develops such a rich history off both story and character. We are building for a war, but the pace it is taking to get us there is helping make us understand the people and creatures involved. Each character has a defined backstory, so it is hard to simply gloss over a character as unimportant.