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The Daily Read: 1/15

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After some down-time spent picking up steam,  The Phoenix Requiem opens up this week at Number 2 on Top Webcomics. Even by my admission, this webcomic seems to be getting a lot better, and this time it’s one of my favorite things that’s to blame – character interaction.

The last two segments have both paired Anya Katsukova and Petria Hart, two key female characters who couldn’t be more different. Anya is dutiful and work-bound, while Petria is playful and extroverted. Neither of the characters had met one another up until now, although the dialogue suggests they’ve known one another for quite some time.

These two wonderfully-contrasted characters share a fairly lively scene. There’s plenty of plot packed into the proceedings, but nothing really concrete emerges. Mainly, this scene serves to define Anya and Petria’s relationship with one another as well as with the (unfortunately named) ex-soldier Robyn Hart. Still, there’s a good hook here, as I’m hoping Petria’s comments on Anya’s personal life will strike up some heated conversation next update.

Still, despite some refreshing character interaction, there’s still a missing puzzle piece looming in the background, namely Jonas Faulkner, who first stumbled bloodied into the idyllic village at the strip’s beginning. The character has remained unconscious for the past seventy-one pages and save for a brief but funny view into his subconscious, we haven’t seen him at all. Considering how amusing just a brief glimpse of Faulkner was, this strip practically needs that character. If this strip reaches 100 pages without Jonas interacting with the other characters, or even interacting with his own mind, many readers, including myself, will have probably lost interest.

Not to borrow a page from the primaries, but if last week showed anything, it’s that it’s still anyone’s race in post-hiatus Top Webcomics. The Phoenix Requiem seems intent on retaking its previous position, but many others remain at the wayside (Last Blood still hasn’t updated), and that makes for a great deal of wildcards in the mix.

Don’t get me wrong – The Phoenix Requiem has taken some good steps to improving both its position on Top Webcomics and its own prowess, but it will have to walk the walk if it wants to stay that way.

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