World War II was one of the most brutal conflicts in history, with a lot of people still remembering the kind of trauma that it caused. Donnie Souza’s Untold series shows the nature of war through a fantasy lens, placing humans alongside elves, orcs and other magical creatures. Untold #2 picks up from the previous issue, as veteran soldier Buchanan Daniels tries to uncover who blew up his tavern. The second issue highlights themes of racism, camaraderie and bravery.
The story opens with a war flashback of Daniels fighting alongside his unit. Moose, a burly, axe-wielding orc, is at the centre of the fighting. He takes on a creature covered in flames, which acts as an explosive segway into the present. Moose was caught in the explosion that blew up Daniels’ tavern. While Daniels and his friends watch over Moose, the illusive Council Woman Monaghan makes plans for her city.
Daniels reluctantly accepts the Council Woman’s invitation to meet. Monaghan is revealed to be a shrewd yet altruistic woman who wants the best for her citizens. She asks Daniels and his crew to act as security for an excavation that could unveil secrets that were hidden during the war.
The banter between the main cast was my favourite part of the issue. It felt like Daniels was the appointed father to a group of unruly children. His verbal sparring with the archer Nori comes off as genuine because they’ve known each other for years. Despite the bickering, Daniels and his crew are family and Souza characterises them in a realistic way.
I thought the art complimented the story that was being told. Each panel has an ethereal, shiny quality that matches the fantastical creatures on display. There’s an awesome panel that involves Daniels sitting down to smoke while the city is rushing past him. It’s a subtle piece of art that added to the emotion of the moment.
A small quibble I had was the style of text used for the narrator. On certain panels I found the white script hard to read and it broke my concentration.
Overall, Untold #2 is a gorgeous looking comic that expands on characters and world building. Fans of war literature and classical fantasy are sure to get behind the cast of colourful heroes.