Review: Mythic #6

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Publisher: Image Comics

Writer: Phil Hester

Artist: John McCrea

Letterer: Willie Schubert

Colorist: Michael Spicer

Mythic can be a difficult series to read. It follows the adventures of a company called “Mythic” who are contracted to solve issues in the natural world that are caused by disruptions of the supernatural ecosystem behind it.  The book throws you into the middle of a highly complex world based upon tons of lore that can be very difficult to gleam from the actual text. Sadly, this has lead to some overly confusing plot points, and characters that are as numerous as they are vague. The sixth issue does suffer from many of the series’s faults, but there are some notable improvements to the storytelling to be found.

Typically after reading a series for six issues, one already knows who the antagonist is and what the over-arching conflict. Mythic is not quite so up front with its plot. Even if you have been reading the series from the very beginning, reading the summary of previous events at the beginning of the issue can prove to be frustrating. It only took five issues for Mythic to make a convoluted mess of their plot line. This mess  is often more frustrating than enjoyable to read, mostly due to the unbelievable amount of characters in the series. Issue 6 is no exception, with its opening scene introducing a new character as well as an entire mysterious organization. Like always, nothing is explained about either of these elements. This left the scene feeling out of place, and even irrelevant.

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Returning to Mythic’s battle with the apocalypse snake, we are offered the series’s best fight scene to date. John McCrea’s art for the scene is fantastic, a notable improvement upon his previous work on the series. Unfortunately, the end of this fight scene marks the end of this improvement. As the book shifts back to dialogue, however, McCrea’s inability to convey emotions in the characters leaves the reader completely apathetic to their struggles. This is especially the case for Mythic’s  protagonist, Nate.

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Nate is the first character we are introduced to in the first issue and by issue six we still know nothing about him. His role in this issue is only included in the last few pages of the A-plot. While the cliffhanger suggests we will spend some more time with him next month, it’s a shame that the character is so underutilized. Nate’s story is by far the most compelling set up for a character in this series. While all his new comrades are immortals and mythical beasts, Nate is just a normal guy who’s been thrust into a world he didn’t even know existed. Hopefully, next month’s B-plot will focus on the newbie instead of the supporting cast.

The back-half of most issues of Mythic is used to tell the origins of the many characters the series follows. This issue continues the story of the War Twins, resulting in the best writing Mythic has ever received. Although it is sometimes as confusing as the A-plot, this story capitalizes on the emotional arc set up last issue in a big way. Best of all, we finally get an explanation of Watterson’s abilities and his odd relationship with his demon brother. In fact, this book would be much better if it focused on the twins exclusively.  Hopefully the team behind the book can keep this up and characterize the rest of the cast like they did Watterson. There is still a lot for Mythic to overcome, but issue six marks the most promising entry of the series to date.

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