Pullbox Reviews – Battlecats: Hunt for the Dire Beast TP

Writer: Mark London
Penciller and Inker: Andy King Michael Camelo
Colorist: Alejandro Giraldo Julian Gonzalez
Publication Date: July 25, 2018
Diamond Code: MAY181863
Rated: Teen+
Battlecats, Volume 1: The Hunt for The Dire Beast collects Battlecats #1-5.

Battlecats is an all-original medieval, fantasy epic created by Mark London. The story is set in the fictional realm of Valderia, an elaborate world shaped by both its rich history and diverse cultures. The Battlecats, lead by Kelthan of Stormholt, are an elite team of warriors sworn to fight the forces of evil that have set out destroy the tradition and ideals of Valderia. Generation after generation, potential Battlecats are chosen from an early age and trained to one day protect the mandates of the Lion God, the realm, and the crown…

Imagine if you will a world where the magic of the Thundercats never faded away and they based more on storytelling and less on selling toys. On top of that, they aged their content with their original audience. That is the kind of world Mark London has created with Battlecats. Kick-ass big cat like humanoids in a fantasy setting. They only thing missing is the Sword of Omens…..but then again, you don’t really miss it.

In this adventure, the Battlecats are ordered by their king to slay the legendary Dire Beast. Not ones to back down from a fight, they head out for days of high adventure (cue Basil Poledouris’ Conan theme). What follows a 150-pages of brutal fantasy action with short breaks for dialog. Both flow beautifully. I will say I found this book to be much more action than exposition, but readers are still compelled to take in all the dialog. The world and characters are rich in history and backstory, and you want to know what that is. You’re almost begging for more world building from this creative team.

I would be remiss if I didn’t feature the action as a separate section. Like any good D&D party, the Battlecats have everything from tanks, ranged attackers, magic users, and the lippy bard/rouge type. They make the perfect assault team that can take on enemies with brutal efficiency. This highlights the skills of pencilers Andy King and Michael Camelo as well as colorists Alejandro Giraldo and Julian Gonzolez. Believe it or not, dynamic storytelling through action sequences can be hard, but this team makes it look easy. These are the kinds of comic book battles you linger on.

If you’re new to the Battlecats world, this is a place to jump in. You get a nice look at the characters and their personalities as well as the feel of the world of Valeria. My suggestion is to pick this up from your local comic shop or find what comic conventions this team is at and buy from them directly. Tell them ThePullbox sent you!

Score: 10/13

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