In the world of Valderia, the Battlecats are a group of five elite soldiers, sworn to protect the crown, king, and land. When evil forces threaten the realm, they are sent to defeat it at the request of the Lion God. But now that a new enemy is rising, a new army is being built, and a new God is looming.
I’ve had the pleasure of being able the read the first four issues of this series, and I am well beyond impressed. The first issue serves as a larger backstory for the rest of the miniseries. We find out that the Lion God created life in Valderia. Felines rose and one of them, Eramad, was told to create regions for each of God’s Moon Warriors. So, Eramad conquered all the land and split it up: Stormholt, Greenspyre, Il-Shavaar, Blackstone, and Arkhovia. His word became law, and Valderia was his. When creatures began revolting, though, the Battlecats were created. When Eramad dies and his heir takes over, though, shit hits the fan. Once Eramad III is born, though, he trains like the Battlecats and proves to be a very worthy leader. Not to mention there’s a new Battlecat cub being trained, too.
This series is one fantastical story that is sure to bring a lot of entertainment. Writer Mark London found that the anthropomorphic cat character would be perfect for the storyline. Given cats’ positions as vessels for Gods in Egyptian culture, they hold a lot of mystery and intrigue already. Putting them into a story with this much action and adventure can only end well.
The one thing I don’t like about this first issue is that it goes by really fast. The transitions are a bit sudden and a little jarring, but I completely understand having to fit so much information into a single issue. Even with so much backstory, this issue is really easy to follow, as its format (frame story) is simple but effective. Aside from the pacing, this issue is damn near perfect. Within the first two pages, I was hooked.
In issue #2, we see the Battlecats on a mission that will change Valderia forever. They must slay the legendary Dire Beast and deliver his head to Stormholt City. We get a really intense and rather long fight sequence in this issue before the Battlecats encounter an enemy, Eltoreq, and see something strange happening in the sky… Issue #3 sends the Battlecats through an epic and dangerous adventure with ice covered enemies. In issue #4, the team takes on one seriously horrifying beast of an animal… But it leads to more questions than answers.
Clearly, I’m trying not to give too much away here, but just enough that you get the gist of the plot. The first four issues have set up the finale really well, so we’ll just have to keep reading to see what happens!
Andy King’s artwork is absolutely beautiful. The line work is really clean, the characters are expressive, and the movement is realistic. The action sequences and battles are really fluid and don’t suggest any hesitance on the Battlecats’ part. The hybrid of animal and human anatomy is always a risky move to make. It can, however, end up really well—this series is no exception. The characters, in turn, end up looking really sympathetic and emotional, which adds a certain personality to the series. Valderia is facing a big threat, and the urgency definitely shows. Alejandro Giraldo’s colors really help bring some vibrancy to the series. There is an element of realism but the concept of the story allows for Giraldo to use unnatural colors, like purple eyes.
This is a really great series that is sure to have one awesome final issue. For anyone into fantasy, action, adventure, or all of the above, this series was meant for you. Make sure to check out Mad Cave Studios for more!
Written by: Mark London
Illustrated by: Andy King