Wraithborn #5


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Wraithborn #5


  • Words: Marcia Chen
  • Art: Joe Benitez
  • Inks: Joe Benitez
  • Colors: Studio F
  • Story Title: In the Beginning: Chapter 5
  • Publisher: DC Comics/WildStorm
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Feb 22, 2006

The struggle for the power of the Wraithborn continues to baffle our young protagonist Melanie, but can the added protection from Valin be enough? Find out here.

I must say, I am finding this new series by WildStorm a real treat to read through. I was very skeptical at first since most of the trade ads looked like it mirrored a typical teenager getting superpowers concept, and I am finding that such a clichéd bore in the genre. Well, lo and behold, after reading the first few issues; I was sadly mistaken as this series resonates freshness from the get go.

The story and art are exceptionally well done and I must say, they go hand in hand like peanut butter is to jelly! Now that might get a chuckle or two for the use of my metaphor, but in all seriousness, this series deserves more accolades than it’s probably received so far. I think it may very well be the best kept secret in comics, and I’m here to weigh in on my opinion.

So let’s get right down to it. The story opens with Melanie in a desperate panic to figure out this gnawing feeling following her around. She’s been hunted previously by demon hell hounds, and now by this thing she aptly calls a ‘ghostie.’ Melanie decides she needs help and she confides in her friend Zoe, who in turn takes her to her grandmother for help. While talking things over at the occult/mystic shop run by Grams, dire forces conspire in the streets outside the shop. These forces are all constructs of Brijit who is seeking to steal the Wraithborn power away from Melanie.

Melanie is told by Zoe’s grandmother that she should go home and bring back all the clothes she wore the night the Wraithborn power came into contact with her. Grams’ intention is to do a reading to help Melanie figure things out, so she rushes her out of the shop. But on her way home, Melanie comes into contact with a nasty construct out for blood. So she ducks for shelter in a nearby church and luckily, Valin reveals himself to her. He has a connection to the Wraithborn power and he’s come to aid Melanie as best he can. The only trouble here is that it may not be enough to overcome the forces of darkness popping up in the last few pages of this story. I tell you all hell is going to break loose next issue!

I think by now you probably get the picture here with the kind of story surrounding Wraithborn. The series is only six issues in length, but it’s been expertly handled by the creators. So far I have enjoyed the quality writing provided by Marcia Chen, and she has a strong affinity towards her characters, especially in the way Melanie is written. I truly get the sense that Melanie is a smart and intelligent teenager, and she’s very likeable throughout the series. So for my money, Marica has done her job here well.

Now as for the art, I really like the sheer excitement and strong draftsmanship of artist Joe Benitez. His style is uniquely his own, and he’s managed to balance a somewhat ‘cartoony’ style with well rounded characters throughout. His work is rife with energy, and many of his characters seem like they can just leap across the page in a moment’s glance. Again, for my money, he’s done his job here too, and his art certainly matches the high level of writing with the same continual quality.

This series is indeed a quality read, and I don’t often feel most comics achieve this standard. I know it’s only a miniseries, but WildStorm has a guaranteed winner with this series and it should get more recognition than received so far. Hopefully they will realize the long term potential here and commission the creators to work on a sequel. I know I’m all for that!

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