The Quarter Bin

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The Stuff of Legend: The Jungle #4

Posted by Luke Brown On March - 9 - 2011

The final chapter of The Stuff of Legend‘s second volume, “The Jungle,” arrives in stores today, and with it comes a dramatic change in the world the story takes place in. Though “The Jungle” has been rife with challenges, this last issue in particular leaves readers hanging on an incredibly steep cliff. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

THE STUFF OF LEGEND: THE JUNGLE #4
Written by MIKE RAICHT and BRIAN SMITH
Art by CHARLES PAUL WILSON III

Not so long ago, a band of adventurers entered a realm of wonder and imagination in hopes of rescuing their closest friend, who’d been kidnapped by a diabolical and powerful monster. The journey they’ve embarked on has already cost them the life of their leader, but now, on the run in the terrifying, creature-filled jungle of the Dark, their motivations and wills are pushed to the limit. Divided, hurting, and barely clinging to hope, the group members are forced to make some life-altering decisions that could change their relationships forever. Sounds good, right? Now imagine those adventurers are toys trying to survive in a land of long forgotten stuffed animals, toy soldiers, and board games. This is the world of The Stuff of Legend, and it’s only going to get more complicated thanks to the events of this fourth issue.

Mike Raicht and Brian Smith have done a great job thus far of building the mythology and characters of this book. With this last chapter in their second volume, the duo kick the drama up a notch. While “The Jungle” has been much darker in tone than the first volume of the book, I didn’t expect Raicht and Smith to pull an Empire Strikes Back on me with this climactic issue. It’s not praise I’m just throwing out there lightly either. The emotional roller-coaster these two writers have put the characters, and readers, through over these past months culminates in such a similar fashion that the parallels are easy to draw. The dramatic loss of an unrequited love. The unspeakable betrayal of a close friend. The uncertainty of the future. A band of rebellious living toys taking on the devious kingdom currently ruling the land. It’s all there, and the presentation is just as strong and tight as ever.

Wilson’s pages are wonderful as always, but the real strength of his work in this issue is all in the facial expressions he renders. The action sequences in this issue are short and sweet, and they look fantastic on the page, but the amount of heartbreak, anguish, and fear Wilson is able to impart on his characters is doubly impressive. Not only do you really get a sense of what each person is thinking or feeling, but the Wilson’s portrayal of emotion really strengthens the scripting. Raicht and Smith don’t bog down pages with exposition. They let the art speak for the narrative just as much as they do their words, and it’s that kind of collaboration that’s made The Stuff of Legend so intriguing and great to read thus far.

Since it began, The Stuff of Legend had been a book that I immediately sought out whenever a new issue would arrive. Now that the second volume has ended, I’m eagerly anticipating the next. Raicht and Smith now how to pace their story perfectly, and thus know just how much to give us in order for us to crave even more. For the third volume, which will center on the Jester, Th3rd World is changing the formatting to that of a more traditional comic, and adjusting the schedule to a monthly release. I’m eager to see how artist Charles Wilson is able to adapt, but I have faith in him, as well as the rest of the creative team, to deliver yet another stunning chapter in the lives of these lost toys.


1 Response so far
  1. The Stuff of Legend Book 2 Reviews | Th3rd World Studios Said,

    [...] The Quarter Bin “Though “The Jungle” has been rife with challenges, this last issue in particular leaves readers hanging on an incredibly steep cliff. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.” This entry was posted in The Stuff of Legend by admin. Bookmark the permalink. [...]

    Posted on March 21st, 2012 at 10:49 PM

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