The two sweet old ladies are back to fight the apocalypse. Lottie trains to save the world just as construction begins on a new community centre in her area. But there is something seriously strange about centre’s developer…
The main chapter of Ash and Thorn sees the return of creative team Mariah McCourt and Soo Lee (colors by Pippa Bowland). Almost in answer to last month’s review, there are more extras this month with another splendid edition of Pickle’s Pantry, a horror story titled “The Fairy” by Chris Eddleman (art by Ameilee Sullivan), and another short story called “This Story is All About You” written by Rakeem Nelson with accompanying art again by Ameilee Sullivan.
Now, the premise of Ash and Thorn is certainly humorous, but this issue really showcases how comedic the series will be. McCourt does a good job of balancing the jokes with the demons so that the story never feels too silly. It really hits that Buffy the Vampire Slayer vibe of spooky and funny.
The extras this month are quite the standout pieces. The Pickle’s Pantry is becoming a favorite — more comics should come with themed recipes. “The Fairy” is a fantastic little horror story. Eddleman leads readers down one way before whisking them in another. It also really follows the supernatural feel of the main chapter of Ash and Thorn.
Rakeem Nelson’s “This Story is All About You” is oddly moving for a comic book backup. It really shines here and this is a strong issue to stand out from the crowd. Another AHOY extra that’s told in second person, it completely owns the narrative position and does so to dramatic effect. It’s often the case with AHOY books that readers get tremendous value for money, but with this issue especially, everything included is worth the cover price alone, let alone together.
There’s really nothing bad here, and little to critique. If an argument had to be made, perhaps the characters of Ash and Thorn are not for everyone. Not that elderly women fighting demons to save the world isn’t for everyone, but tonally, it can ironically feel slightly YA in its presentation. This makes the few curse words stand out even more as the lighthearted nature of the premise makes the book rather whimsical.
Ash and Thorn is another stellar addition to the AHOY lineup. It singlehandedly corners the ‘elderly women’ hero market in the comics industry, and comes with more than satisfactory backups. This is the issue for some good honest escapism from the outside world.