Captive in the Poison Lands, Jin comes face to face with the robot who ordered the destruction of his home and makes a desperate bid to escape. Trailing far behind, Kaya and her allies attempt a perilous descent to catch up to Jin's captors. The wildest adventure in comics continues in the bizarre Poison Lands!
Kaya #8 is a developmental issue; one meant to sow certain story seeds into the plot and initiate the hellish conflict of man vs. nature that Kaya, Jin, and the Lizard Riders now face. As such, there isn’t as much character writing here as seen in previous issues. Instead, the book is full of interesting world-building and exciting plot moments to carry readers over and into the following issue easily.
The book is far from boring and continues to wow with its artistic atmosphere and straightforward yet engaging narrative, but it’s still one that struggles to make its decompressed pacing satisfying at an issue-by-issue level. While what happens in this issue doesn’t feel like it’s introducing something new, its value lies in all the fleshing out that occurs because of the decompression, but with a little bit more balance, each issue of this book would stand just a little bit taller. However, the plot here is the natural continuation of the last one, with a bit more chaos thrown into the mix as both groups try and fail to move forward.
The events each group faces in this issue help to characterize the growing relationships within both, flavoring the plot with some satisfying and entertaining dynamics that would otherwise be nonexistent. Kaya’s relentless will to protect her traveling companions and go above and beyond is her tragic flaw, which comes out in this issue with great veneer. While she and the Lizard Riders get second billing in terms of story, that isn’t to say Craig forgets to give them at least something to do here. Facing down the Poison Lands and characterizing this place as a living, breathing death trap does wonders for the stakes.
By that measure, Jin focused on a vast amount of verbal world-building occurring on his side of the Poison Lands. Lord Vox and Jin’s sobering desperation in reaction to his appearance nearly forces him to mature, but our young prince doesn’t just take this lying down. We get to his crafty, slippery, and more manipulative side in better stride, this issue now that he is divorced from his sister.
Craig’s art continues to excel in every way and form. From expressions to coloring, there isn’t a book as visually unique, concise, and pretty on the stands.
Kaya #8 proves to be another solid chapter in a series that reads much better in chunks than it does issue by issue. Overall series pacing aside, the book is still as artisan as it could possibly be, Craig putting out a masterclass in fantasy comic storytelling that's perfect for people of all ages.
Kaya #8: The Poison Lands
- Writing - 8.5/108.5/10
- Storyline - 8.5/108.5/10
- Art - 10/1010/10
- Color - 10/1010/10
- Cover Art - 10/1010/10
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