Comic Book Review: Miss Truesdale and the Fall of Hyperborea #3
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Writers: Mike Mignola
Artist: Jesse Lonergan
Colorist: Jesse Lonergan
Cover Artist: Jesse Lonergan
Variant Cover Art: Elsa Charretier
Lettering: Clem Robins
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Publication Date: July 19, 2023
Format: FC, 22 pages; Series
Synopsis: Hyperborea is burning, torn asunder by the fury of the first angel. As the city falls, Anum Yassa’s and Miss Truesdale’s lives intertwine, and they are drawn to face their destinies and the wrath of gods. Hellboy creator Mike Mignola and artist Jesse Lonergan bring the third installment of a new tale of ancient Hyperborea.
Reviewer Note: I read this volume out of sequence in the Miss Truesdale series, so this was the first one I read. I have a tendency to do this a lot in my own personal reading habits, with books in a series as well as with comic books and graphic novels. This is a standalone review of this particular comic in the series.
I was instantly hooked by the cover. I love the suggestion of the World Tree with the tree on the cover, with the roots extending into the picture of the character. It also stands as a nice complement to the more industrialized atmosphere of Victorian England. I did get the sense that this was supposed to be some nature-based utopia, as per the legend of the actual Hyperborea, with the “Riphean Mountains, which shielded them from the effects of the cold North Wind”.1
Then, after I was introduced to the main premise of the story, I realized that the tree-with-roots symbolism went even deeper. I know we reviewers shouldn’t give away spoilers, but the extra layer of connectivity as symbolized by the tree was a quietly exciting reveal. (I got goosebumps.)
Speaking of quiet, I enjoyed how subdued the story was presented. It didn’t patronize the reader with too much exposition and backstory about the myth, and the text was limited on quite a few of the pages. It let the atmosphere and the visual imagery seep through and it was handled in just the right way that it, too, carried on with the story-telling. It just assumed that we knew some about it and, even if we didn’t, we’d be intrigued enough to look it up in a book on the subject, or online.
And the crossover of Christian iconography and pagan-like elements was a neat trick too. The muted earth tones of the artwork was a nice effect as well.
The only thing that I didn’t like was, of course, the bikini armor. On one hand, it could be argued that it was a fitting contrast to the more conservative Victorian garb, and clothing that permitted more ease of movement during athletic competitions or military campaigns would make more sense. Still, I have to admit that I did giggle when I saw the teeny section of round armor plating on the bikini bottom. Not to mention that the skimpy garment looks like it would blow away with one strong gust of the fabled Hyperborean winds.
Overall, I’m keen enough on this out-of-sequence read to check out the rest of the series.
1Hyperborea, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperborea, Wikipedia, accessed August 2, 2023.
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“Cat Whisperer” Kirsten Lee Barger has written articles on everything from cats to a piece about the “Di Wae Powa: They Came Back” homecoming event (Special thanks to Executive Director Karl Duncan and the Poeh Cultural Center: https://poehcenter.org/diwaepowa/.). In addition to befriending not only feral cats (as well as skunks and the occasional chipmunk or squirrel), she strives to support authors with everything from editing services to book coaching, and more. Find her on LinkedIn, here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kirsten-lee-barger-4a984a49/ or visit her at her website: https://kirsten-lee-barger.mailchimpsites.com/.