• Katie Liggera

BRIGANTIA, ISSUES #1-2

Writer: Christopher Mole

Illustrator: Melissa Trender/Harriet Moulton

Letterer: Nikki Foxrobot/Aditya Bidikar

Editor: Christopher Mole/Melissa Trender

Pagan Consultant: Limnaia Areia

Publisher: Self-Published

Brigantia, Issue #1, Cover by Melissa Trender, Comics Printing UK, Mole/Trender

WHAT IS IT?

A Celtic, mythological adventure tale where the British goddess of second-century England falls through a portal and finds herself trapped in modern London.


It's Wonder Woman meeting a twisted version of Enchanted.


WHAT’S IT ABOUT?

(Minor Spoilers)

In 212 C.E. North England, fierce goddess-warrior Brigantia defends her people, the Brigantes, from threats and harm. In a battle between Brigantia and her brother, the corrupt Veteris, Veteris opens a portal that transports his sister into modern era England with no way back.


Brigantia encounters police and crime in the strange new version of London, trying to pursue justice through her brute strength. After that goes predictably poorly, Pagan historian Pravin Khan rescues Brigantia from the streets and vows to help her find her brother and aid in her plight. Will Brigantia find a way back to her own time, and will she defeat her powerful brother's evil plans?


WHAT WORKS?

  • Chris Mole and Melissa Trender approach topics like power, corruption, and justice with sincerity. The dialogue flows effortlessly along with the action and imagery of the art in both issues.

  • Stylistic lettering by Foxrobot (#1) and Bidikar (#2), especially the fantasy font present when Brigantia and Veteris are speaking, positively stand out. Both issues render their lettering and explosive colors surrounding the speech bubbles with visual, memorable flare.

  • In Brigantia #2, Moulton takes on most of the illustration, and her softer-lined art evokes a different, but highly engaging aesthetic.

  • The opening pages are wonderfully fleshed out with easy-to-comprehend lore and detailed drawings of a fantasy, early-century England.

  • The wide-pan panels of Brigantia in the foreground looking out at the London cityscape or the open grassland fields of her home in 212 C.E. are reminiscent of postcard-like landscapes. These panels induce feelings of pure wanderlust.

  • The incredible action sequences and fantasy elements in Brigantia gel the story together with necessary social commentary that provides relatability.

  • While the first issue creates layered characters and fast-paced exposition, the second issue brilliantly heightens the emotional tension and provides some excellent comedy with its new character, Anna.

  • Brigantia is similar in her role as a female superhero protagonist to Diana Prince, but her powers and narrative feel fresh and not derivative.

  • All of the creators appear to have done extensive research and have a great understanding of Celtic mythology and the world they have created.

  • Brigantia is not short on including diverse, fascinating characters, never relinquishing these characters to merely their ethnic backgrounds as their only identities.


WHAT DOESN’T WORK?

  • The facial expressions on a few pages of issue #1 feel slightly jarring at times in the beginning.

  • Because the second issue features art from both Trender and Moulton, the noticeable switches between the two fabulous artists may take the reader out of the moment in the middle of the issue.

  • The narrative pacing of issue #1 wobbles a bit as it finds its feet, but the second issue absolutely corrects any pacing issues.


Brigantia, Issue #1, Page 2, Comics Printing UK, Mole/Trender

WHY SHOULD I READ IT?

If you're burnt out on superhero action stories, Brigantia breathes new life into the female goddess narrative. Mole and Trender create a niche British hero with Brigantia, filling the noticeable void in British superhero comics (besides Excalibur from Marvel). Every character is greatly used to expound upon the action-oriented storyline. The diversity present and platonic, revitalizing dynamics between all the characters presents the opportunity to connect with them as individuals. Brigantia definitely passes the Bechdel test!


Brigantia #1 and #2 employs comedy with thoughtfulness while using exhilarating action to round out the characters. Unbelievably clear lettering and pragmatic artwork fluidly collaborate with the dialogue to provide a straightforward, thrilling story about a Celtic goddess you are sure to enjoy. That cliffhanger at the end of #2 should implore you to contribute to funding the next great issue that will (hopefully!) be announced sometime soon.


HOW DO I BUY IT?

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The image(s) used in this article are from a comic strip, webcomic or the cover or interior of a comic book. The copyright for this image(s) is likely owned by either the publisher of the comic, the writer(s) and/or artist(s) who produced the comic. It is believed that the use of this image(s) qualifies as fair use under the United States copyright law. The image is used in a limited fashion in an educational manner in order to illustrate the points of the author and not for the purpose of entertainment or substituting the original work. It is believed the use of this image has had no impact on the market value of the original work.


All Brigantia characters and the distinctive likeness(es) thereof are trademarks of and copyright Christopher Mole and Melissa Trender or their respective owners. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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