After speaking with series co-writer and artist Ulises Fariñas, it’s clear he’s interested in telling a very different story. Based on the first issue, he did it, but can he continue to build this world and keep our interest?
Motro #3 (Oni Press)
So what’s it about? Read our preview with summary to find out!
Why does this book matter?
In my review of the first issue I wrote, “If you like fables, fairy tales, and stories that feel entirely new, you gotta read this.” After reading this issue that statement still stands. Fariñas and Erick Freitas are creating a world that seems to have a new and inventive wonder on every page. The story progresses in a way that’s fluid and almost disconnected from anything. If that interests you this is a no brainer read!
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Can you really trust a dude with a hat like that?
The story continues at a fast clip, seemingly changing gears at a moment’s notice. It opens with Motro talking to his friends and new stepfather about his own father, quickly involves a frog wizard, and sets them on a quest for a magical artifact. Fariñas and Freitas switch gears so often it’s hard to get your bearings, which has its pros and cons. The pro is that this issue is stuffed with content and adventure while intermixing the jealousy Motro faces with his step brother, the idea of being part of family, and the responsibility in caring for others. It’s fascinating that this series jumps ahead in time so quickly as this too keeps the reader on their toes, ready for anything at the turn of a page.
The actual events in this issue are quite fun too. There’s a fantastical beast to take on, the frog wizard of course, and a chance for Rockmaster to show off his rock skills. It’s also neat how Fariñas and Freitas have introduced another magical artifact which further makes this fantasy world feel unique.
The art by Fariñas continues to be excellent. The amount of detail put into its pages is unparalleled, from an icy terrain to a fantastic monster (not saying what type to avoid spoilers!). He has a cartoony yet detailed style that’s all his own and it’s refreshing in a field where most comics look similar. The talking machines, with their word bubbles filled with images, continue to a fun wrinkle as well.
It can’t be perfect can it?
The frantic pace does have its negatives though as it makes it hard to follow along at times. I had to go back and rereard issue #2 to make sure I wasn’t missing something, and even within the issue I wasn’t sure if I missed an important caption or subtitle. The pace also hinders the emotional resonance of a conflict between Motro and his step brother. The last issue set up the groundwork, but they barely speak or interact in this issue due to the events pulling things along so briskly. Based on how fast things move you’d think Fariñas and Freitas are trying to fit in all their ideas due to a issue limit, which ultimately changes the experience. Whether it’s for the better remains to be seen once it’s all said and done.
The boat is so happy!
Is It Good?
Motro continues to be a fantastical fantasy that’s its own thing. There’s nothing else like it on the stands today, or ever before. Its frantic pace can be confusing and sometimes frustrating, but there’s no denying this is a unique story lovers of fantasy will dig.
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