Writer Kurt Busiek
Artist Benjamin Dewey
Colours Jordie Bellaire
Lettering John G. Roshell & Jimmy Betancourt
Variant Cover Mike Oeming & Jordie Bellaire
Autumnlands #6 is a strong continuation from the previous issues. Going from strength to strength, this tale shows no sign of slowing down now that the team seem to be truly in the zone with this project. The day of the awaited parley between opposing sides arrives, and with it, a storm that embodies the turmoil of interweaving intent. Clichéd? Yes, but it works well and sets a great atmosphere for the crescendo.
As always, the artwork is cleverly detailed or simple depending on the panel. The landscapes, setting the scene and truly taking you to this land. The characters, expressive and with good continuation to likeness. The coldness of the Hero is greater enforced in his bonding with the main protagonist who still idolizes him, yet he treats him like a loyal dog, commands him like a soldier. I cannot decide if this Hero will be Dusty’s downfall, or is an adopted father figure after losing his own.
After all, Dusty’s own father was equally brutal, simply with different social etiquette.
The brutality of the hero and the way in which those that summoned him view his barbarity in dealing with the hordes of angry tribes that want to kill them is well delivered. Here is their saviour, committing acts unsavoury to them. I suspect (without spoilers) had he committed the same act but used magic to do it, they would be less disgusted.
The pomposity and hypocrisy of the animals from the sky cities balances well against the brutishness of the lesser classes that dwell on land. The division in class and uprising of those under the heel is a classic scenario, and Autumnlands delivers it in a delicious high fantasy with stunning artwork.
I know I am being sucked into a story when I begin to truly dislike characters. The self serving, pompous and frankly unpleasant leaders that have their underlings kissing their butts certainly does it for me.
You find yourself almost wanting the Bison (the lesser tribes) to have their revenge and over throw these oppressors, yet they are so full of hate you rally against them alongside the sky dwellers. Yes… they may have brought the anger of the tribes upon themselves, but the children already question the unfairness of it all and you find yourself wishing for peace.
As we have seen from our own history… Peace rarely comes without Bloodshed.