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Parliament of Rooks #5
Comixology Originals

Comic Books

‘Parliament of Rooks’ #5 review

All things must come to an end, and Parliament of Rooks ends its run on a high note.

From start to finish, Abigail Jill Harding has been telling a love story with her five-issue series Parliament of Rooks, which revels in Gothic design and horror spectacle. Each previous issue is named after one of the four seasons, while this fifth and final issue is named after “Hell”. It’s appropriately named, as the climax plunges into the hellish landscape where Darius Ravenscar hopes to rescue his beloved Seraphina from the clutches of the King of Hell himself, Malphas. 

As this series has progressed, we have slowly been getting more answers regarding Darius’s monstrous state and how it ties into his family’s secrets. Just like how the penultimate issue revealed a number of revelations, Harding and co-writer/letterer Richard Starkings presents a finale that is jam-packed with reveals. With a great deal of exposition, the amount of speech bubbles and captions can be too many. 

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That said, Parliament of Rooks has always had a compelling cast, led by Darius himself, who clung to Seraphina as the only thing that has kept him human, even if both of them are going through a supernatural transformation. Perhaps the most touching moment involves Darius briefly reunited with his mother, who delivers a long explanation that she was a desperate mother finding a solution to save her dead baby and finds a miracle in the shape of Malphas, who seduces and eventually betrays her.

Parliament of Rooks #5

Comixology Originals

For as much as Darius is a compelling protagonist who could easily turn to the dark side, it might as well be Seraphina’s story as well as she becomes the Moon Maiden to literally shine a light upon him. As the two star-crossed lovers – along with the additional female energy of the extended Ravenscar family – the conflict with Malphas gets resolved but comes at a price as the story goes full circle in what led Darius and Seraphina to be separated, only to reunite years later. 

Through this whole series, the one thing that most readers will take away is how Harding’s art has been consistently good. Although her work here is predominantly defined with a monochrome aesthetic, the art is even more striking when using other color palettes, especially the use of “brilliant red”, appropriate for the hellish setting. From the unconventionally grotesque creature designs to Darius rocking his own Berserker Armor, Harding continues to express her fandom of Kentaro Miura’s dark fantasy manga Berserk through her incredible art.

As a parliament of rooks flies towards the full moon, thus concludes an incredible series from writer and illustrator Abigail Jill Harding, who compiles a number of influences ranging from Gothic romance, dark fantasy and various forms of horror into a unique visual experience.

Parliament of Rooks #5
‘Parliament of Rooks’ #5 review
Parliament of Rooks #5
As a parliament of rooks flies towards the full moon, thus concludes an incredible series from writer and illustrator Abigail Jill Harding, who compiles a number of influences ranging from Gothic romance, dark fantasy and various forms of horror into a unique visual experience.
Reader Rating1 Votes
9
With the hellish landscape and clashing of monsters, Harding's art makes this visually stunning read.
A wonderful conclusion to the central love story that is touching and tragic.
More answers revealed, leading to one of the series's most emotional scenes between son and mother.
With a number of revelations, you get a heavy dose of exposition, full of speech bubbles and captions.
9.5
Great

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