“The Cauldron of Eternal Life falls into Margul Khan’s hands! Now Shahidah El-Amin must hold the line and stop him, or his unkillable armies will spread in conquest across the globe.”
Issue #5 brings on the finale to “Compass”. Our finale opens with another betrayal by Shahidah El-Amin’s old friend, Ling. As Ling hands over The Cauldron of Eternal Life, the Kheshig begin their ritual to resurrect Margul Khan. As Khan is brought back to life, it is a race against time for Shahidah El-Amin to figure out how to stop him before his army is granted immortality.
The opening pages are intense. The pacing begins to move much quicker compared to the previous issues as tension begins to heat up. Right away Margul Khan begins taking lives, displaying how cold, evil, and powerful he is. It was a gruesome way to begin the issue, that did an excellent job to portray what dangers lay ahead.
As the story continues, we again get mixed messages on where Ling’s loyalty lies as she sneaks into Shahidah El-Amin’s tent, to free her. I really enjoyed this scene as the dialogue really helped develope more insight on who Ling is. Ling is portrayed as a character that seems to know what she is doing, but deep down is in denial and has true loyalty to her friend.
Shahidah’s people and the Kheshig later clash. This battle was the highlight of Justin Greenworks’ art. Greenwork does a great job conveying movement in these panels. Every sword strike feels quick and powerful.
However, Greenwork’s illustrations lack in depicting facial expressions. Through dialogue and action scenes, personalities feel flat and unexpressive. It makes it harder to feel and understand each character’s emotions.
Colorist Daniela Miwa does a good job setting the tone. The evening is set with a cool color palette that gives the environment a cold nighttime feel, while keeping neutral tones underneath to still keep that earthy, desert feel.
Overall, this final issue was fun and enjoyable, but also predictable. The final battle was what you would expect and want to be. Yet, it was easy to figure out Shahidah and Ling would work together to find a way to counter The Cauldron of Eternal Life as the battle progressed. I still enjoyed the story but at times it did feel anticlimactic.
This issue has its ups and downs as does the series itself. The issue brought a solid ending to the series at most. I think it’s fascinating how this series is based off of historical stories, but even with an adventurous plot, this issue had parts that felt generic. It felt like I’ve read similar stories before.
Compass #5: The Cauldron of Eternal Life
Writing - 5/105/10
Storyline - 5.5/105.5/10
Art - 6/106/10
Color - 6/106/10
Cover Art - 7/107/10
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