Friday, October 15, 2004

Tellos vol. I: Reluctant Heroes

Reluctant Heroes collects the first five issues of the Tellos comic book series from Image comics along with the Prelude and Prologue. I originally bought this trade paperback, along with a few other Tellos books for my girlfriend. She really enjoys fantasy styled comics (which there aren't a ton of at the moment since CrossGen folded) and this one looked to be one she could really enjoy because it contained one thing--anthropomorphic animals.

This story is a basic fantasy, hero coming of age story. The main character, Jarek, is a thief who has been living on the run with his friend Koj, a tiger-man. They later meet up with Serra, a pirate ship captain, and two other thieves, Rikk and Hawke (Rikk being a fox-man and Hawke an "ulf" (this realm's version of an elf)). In their quest to find another hero to help in the great battle of good versus evil (like any good fantasy story), they take on water serpents, frog-warriors, and a band of assassins.

As cliched and hokey as the story might sound, Todd Dezago does a good job of writing this tale so that it remains compelling. The art from Mike Wieringo also helps. His style is very cartoony and the bright, pastel colors washed over his pencils gives this story a laid back, fun feel.

The only small drawback to this trade paperback is it doesn't contain the complete story. The end of the book leaves you with a cliffhanger that holds the fate of one of the members in the balance. I know I can't wait to read the next book, so it's a successful application of a cliffhanger, but I didn't like having to go buy another book to get the entire story.

As it is, this is a perfect book for anyone who enjoys light-hearted fantasy. I think it would even work very well for kids too, as none of the themes are too adult and the art style should be appealing to the little ones.

Art: 3.5
Story: 3.75
Overall: 3.75

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