Firebreather: Holmgang #2


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Firebreather: Holmgang #2


  • Words: Phil Hester
  • Art: Andy Kuhn
  • Colors: Bill Crabtree
  • Story Title: Long Lost
  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release Date: Apr 6, 2011

Firebreather: Holmgang #2 kicks into overdrive!  In this issue, Duncan faces some really intense emotions as the truth about his father’s death comes home.  Andy Kuhn and Phil Hester once again astound readers with their ability to pack tons of action, character development, and story into a single issue.  In addition to Duncan’s mom finding out about his father’s death, this issue sees the beginning (or end) of Duncan’s relationship with Isabel, the introduction of a new character, Mr. Go, and Duncan’s prom.  And all of these pale in comparison to the biggest reveal in the last panel!

I’m not sure what I can say about this issue that I haven’t said before. Andy Kuhn’s artwork continues to captivate readers by combining the angst of adolescence with the supernatural eeriness of being half-monster, half-teen.  Holmgang #2 delivers a full range of emotions, both subtle and extreme.  Duncan goes from distraught to angry to nervous in a way that does not make you feel like the storytelling team milking dramatic effect, but instead feels very genuine. 

While reading this story, I couldn’t help but feel like this is what all Firebreather fans have been waiting for.  We’ve all known for a while that Duncan’s destiny is bigger than what we’ve seen so far, and that his father did more than just impregnate his mother and piss off the top cops.  It seems that Belloc had a lot more things going on for him, even in exile, and it was exciting to see the beginning of his influence.
When I first heard about Mr. Go, I was worried that he would be a mysterious demon drill instructor or a wise Yoda-like character that taught Duncan to use his powers now that Belloc is gone, but I was pleasantly surprised by how original he is.  Not a kaiju (at least outwardly), Mr. Go seems to be a great balance between mentor and friend.  Instead of teaching Duncan how to be a great warrior, he shows Duncan how to be a person, which is really what Duncan has always wanted.  Mr. Go is someone who does not deny that Duncan’s kaiju half exists and will affect his life, but respects that for the most part, Duncan just wanted to be a normal guy.  It’s a shame he didn’t come along sooner.

The first issue of this arc bridged the gap between “All the Best Heroes Are Orphans” and “Holmgang” and reminded us why we love Firebreather.  This issue turns the page on that chapter in Duncan’s life and brings us into a new era where playtime is over and it’s time to man up.  I, for one, am very excited to see which path Duncan decides to take, and how he’s going to manage to have a normal life now that his destiny has come calling.

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