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Unnatural Order Cover Crop
Courtesy of Vault Comics

Comic Books

‘Unnatural Order’ #3 journeys to the border between fantasy and sci-fi

The art carries the latest chapter in the sci-fi/fantasy action-adventure.

In Unnatural Order #3, the band of heroes journey ever closer to the border between the high fantasy world they inhabit and the modern, scientific world from which it was created. After a month delay, Vault Comics released the third issue of this genre bending action-adventure miniseries on February 21st. Unnatural Order is created by writer Christopher Yost, artist Val Rodrigues, colorist Dearbhla Kelly and letterer Andworld Design.

All in all, this issue feels mostly like setup for what will come in future chapters. The band of typical sword and sorcery heroes have decided to follow the plan of main protagonist, John Murphy, the modern-day US soldier. So, we follow as they journey from England to where the CERN research facility should be, on the French-Austrian border. Along the way, the creative team introduces some new threats and works on building their fantasy world. We also get to enjoy a few fun action sequences.

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Unnatural Order #3

Vault Comics

As in the previous two issues, the art by Rodrigues and Kelly is the best part of the book. It really shows in the fight scenes – probably because Rodrigues draws some great monsters, whether they be horrific fairies, ghost-like zombie-vampires or three-headed dragons. Kelly’s colors add layers to the beauty and create the mood of each scene. I was particularly impressed by the use of bright, clean colors for the modern-day scenes contrasted by the darker, dirtier tones of the medieval fantasy settings.

That said, this chapter didn’t have as many eye-catching pages as the first two issues. But, maybe that’s just because I’ve gotten used to how great the art is.

Unnatural Order #3

Vault Comics

Overall, I felt like everything in Unnatural Order #3 was good, but lacking something to make it great. I think there is more potential in the story and the characters than what we get. Which is kind of surprising, considering the 40 pages of content. At the very least, we’re getting our money’s worth of pages.

For example, there isn’t enough character development for the issue to be considered a character study. On the positive side, Yost is good at establishing the bonds within the group. We experience enough with these characters that we care about what happens to them. On the other hand, we don’t know enough about them or their histories to truly understand their motivations.

The biggest fault is that we aren’t getting enough of the main villain, Iodoc – known as The Druid. The character is at once scary and unsettling, yet charismatic and compelling. He steals every scene that he’s in. But, as in issue #1, he’s just not in much of the book.

Unnatural Order #3

Vault Comics

Furthermore, at 40 pages, not quite enough plot development occurs in this issue. As I’ve said before, most of what happens feels like setup. I mean, the world-building is good and the action sequences are fun. Otherwise, the band of heroes travels across western Europe and mostly discuss whether or not they should trust Murphy’s assertion that their world isn’t real but a fantasy created by The Druid.

The best scene may be the introduction of a new threat. She is obviously powerful. Her actions are chilling and dangerous. She apparently isn’t one of the Druid’s monsters, but she also doesn’t want things to go back to the way they were before. She adds a new wrinkle to Murphy’s plans and a second intriguing villain to the series.

The issue ends with what should be a plot twist, but it actually isn’t surprising. There have been numerous hints dropped throughout the series so far. It’s what I already assumed was happening, even before the final two pages confirm it.  

In conclusion, Unnatural Order #3 is a little better than issue #1, but not as engrossing as issue #2. The art continues to impress. And the characters have grown on me. But it just doesn’t seem to live up to its full potential. And it should definitely showcase its compelling main villain more often.

Unnatural Order Cover Crop
‘Unnatural Order’ #3 journeys to the border between fantasy and sci-fi
Unnatural Order #3
In conclusion, Unnatural Order #3 is a little better than issue #1, but not as engrossing as issue #2. The art continues to impress. And the characters have grown on me. But it just doesn’t seem to live up to its full potential. And it should definitely showcase its compelling main villain more often.
Reader Rating0 Votes
0
I still love the art style.
The characters have grown on me.
Interesting mixture of sci-fi and fantasy genres.
Large page count.
Not enough of the main villain.
Mostly just set-up for future issues.
Doesn't live up to its full potential.
7
Good

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