Twig is a delightful new series that blends the endearing qualities of Jim Hensen’s creations with a classic hero’s journey. In its fourth issue this week, Kyle Strahm and Skottie Young’s imaginative adventure takes a darker turn. Can Twig kill an innocent pink rhino-looking creature to accomplish one of his tasks?
The answer, you’ll notice quite early on, is no, he can’t. It’s an interesting opening, especially since most characters are gleeful and positive, as Twig must consider dooming the world and sparring the creature’s life or committing murder. Young smartly writes this character as so innocent he isn’t offended by the idea of being killed. It creates a unique dynamic between the characters that are unique and endearing.
Luckily, Twig decides not to harm the creature, who has a heart in his horn that he needs for his quest. It turns out that avoiding harming the creature helps him on his quest, and soon they’re connecting around the fire. From the dialogue to the character acting, you truly feel for these characters. The way Strahm draws the eyes captures their soul while you connect with them.
Much of the rest of the issue features the wonderful montage that shows off wildly inventive environments and creatures that inhabit them. There’s also a wonderful double-page spread of Twig’s dream that’s a standout visual moment. The book constantly pushes the creative juices onto the page, making for a sense of wonderment and a desire to learn more about this strange world.
The creature on the cover also gets an exciting scene with a close call for the heroes to dodge. Strahm blocks this two-page scene well, capturing the scale of the monster and drawing out the danger. This is just one of a few trials the heroes must endure, including one that requires a bit of trust with a stranger. By the end of the issue, it feels like the reader gets plenty of trials to witness the heroes go through, making for an exciting issue.
Jean-Francois Beaulieu brings a vibrancy with his colors that amp up the beautiful landscapes. The pink rhino-looking creature named Lobee is a good example of how Beaulieu plays with light and shadow off the character’s skin.
Running through this series are themes and lessons younger readers might connect with. It’s obvious in the opening scene, for instance, as the hero must show empathy for this sad and innocent creature.
Twig #4 is a great chapter in the fantasy adventure as it captures the heart of the characters with deeply emotional moments. It’s also a series that continues to wow with its visuals and imaginative fantasy worlds.
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