Starkweather: Immortal (Archaia – Rodriguez / McEvoy / Pritchett)
We have forgotten them. They were the final gift of a condemned man, infused with his blood and sent out into the world to spread his word of peace and light. But they were betrayed by those sworn to protect them. The Divine Blood were lost…and the world was plunged into darkness.
Today they are called witches, and they are hunted at every turn. The Twelve Great Houses have collapsed under betrayal and infighting. They have abandoned their charges, forsaking the very source of their gifts. They teeter on the brink of extinction and their best chance at survival—a five-year-old boy with enough power to topple mountains—disappeared fifteen years ago.
The boy has become a man who doesn’t remember what he was. The very spell that was woven to hide him from the world also has hidden his true self, leaving him a professional slacker—a directionless disappointment who wants nothing more than to spend his life in wonderful obscurity.
It is Alexander Starkweather’s destiny to restore the Divine Blood to power and lead them into a new age. But before he can become a witch, he must learn what it means to be a man.
In this hardcover TPB, I was able to get myself myself re-acquainted with Alex Starkweather (I had read the first two issues of this series about two years ago). Alex is a child of prophecy and the last from a long line of strong-blooded magic users (think less Merlin and more Harry Dresdin). He is thrown from his day-to-day drudge into the world of magic, to face both his family secret history and battle against those who have hunted his kind for centuries. Even while I write this, I know this sounds like a grown-up version of Harry Potter. It is true, Starkweather does share some common themes with Potter but the feel of this book is much darker and angstier than anything that Rowling has penned.
David Rodriguez (Shadowgirls) frames an excellent story with mythology that is both readily fluid and detailed. His story’s landscape ranges from the traditional lore of witches to Templar warriors to the Eternal Warrior (he who stabbed Christ in his side). One of things that really stuck out to me, reading the entire series as a whole, was that both the plot and Alex (the protagonist) can be characterized by headstrong testosterone-driven action. The issues pumped right on by, fueled by both the intrigue of good story-telling and my interest in Rodriguez’s world born from effort given to detail by the author. The art works pretty well here. Patrick McEvoy gives details to the forefront of the frames, while letting the background get murky. This really adds to the mystical environment that Rodriguez wanted to set.
The action, sexual content and dialogue definitely gives Starkweather a PG-13 rating. That being said, this is a solid and enjoyable read. Worth both your time and money.