Review - Jirni Vol. 2 #1 (@AspenComics)

"There's a difference between pirates and ordinary thieves."

Taking a journey tests one's resolve on multiple levels. Taking a journey when you're Ara in Jirni Vol. 2 #1 from Aspen Comics tests a whole lot more than that. The issue is written by J.T. Krul, illustrated by V Ken Marion, inked by Mark Roslan, colored by Juan Fernandez and lettered by Josh Reed.

Her perilous quest resumes. Ara has returned—and has left more than her homeland behind, as her journey brings her to sea along with Boro and his band of pirates. However, what new wonders—and dangers—await Ara on their next stop? And will she be able to survive the experience? The world of Jirni explodes into uncharted territory as Ara’s epic story continues.

Jirni Vol. 2 #1 plays out largely at sea, set against the backdrop of pirates sailing towards their destination. Krul uses Ara as a narrator who provides the reader with some context for her presence on the pirate ship, as well as some deeper insights into her view on life in general. This narration feels a little overbearing at first, yet it eventually settles in and gives way to the dialogue as a means of revealing the plot. The plot of the issue fits well within the Jirni dynamic, as it offers a pretty fantastical destination for the ship rife with unique inhabitants. Ara is a very strong leading character who commands the respect of many of the other characters in the work, as well as evidencing characteristics that make her a natural leader.

Marion's illustrative style shows a lot of attention paid to details such as facial and hair features. Ara looks intimidating in her armor, the pirates look sufficiently devious and and the island inhabitants they encounter at the end carry with them a menacing air. Many of the panel layouts showcase these features with a lot of close-up shots of the characters, using those facial expressions as a means of conveying the mood of the story. It's the emotion that Mario excels at most, as the facial features of the characters are drawn very cleanly and draw the eye toward them. Roslan provides bold inks and the colors by Fernandez are mostly browns, reds and oranges, all of which contrast with the purple of Ara.

Jirni Vol. 2 #1 evokes the imagination in many positive ways. Ara is on a journey that she wants to take the reader with her on and the world is shaping up to be pretty mythical. Krul succeeds in breathing a sense of wonderment into the proceedings, as Ara exists in a world full of magic and strange creatures. Marion's illustrations emphasize characters with a lot personality interacting with one another and the world around them. Jirni Vol. 2 #1 is a pretty strong return to the world of Jirni, picking up with the adventure that the first volume left off with.

Jirni Vol. 2 #1 is in stores now.