Review: ISOLA #5

Written by Brenden Fletcher, Karl Kerschl
Art by Karl Kerschl, Msassyk, Aditya Bidikar
Published by Image Comics
Release Date: August 29, 2018

Status check: the last time an issue of ISOLA came out, I loved it, but was still mostly in the dark about what in the name of god is going on (but, like, in a good way). I was locked in to the story, craved more, and was addicted to this slow burn, beautiful fantasy epic.

Status update after reading ISOLA #5….yeah, everything’s still the same.

The list of what I love about ISOLA is long. We’ve obviously got a deep backstory rolling here for Rook and Olwyn, and this world is so visually lush, I can hardly stand it. Kerschl and Msassyk’s execution of the moments between Olwyn and Rook in this issue are PHENOMENAL and I both love and hate this creative team for making me wait to learn what the hell is going on in this world. This is a fantasy epic, and I pretty much feel like I’m getting to read Lord of the Rings one page at a time….except with visuals that make my eyes explode. To say that Kerschl and Msassyk create amazing work here is an understatement, and I think when the time comes for “year end” awards and whatnot, you’re going to see these two names in the chatter quite a lot.

I keep using the term “slow burn” when I talk about ISOLA and the thing that makes a good, slowly unfolding story like this work is that Fletcher and Kerschl obviously have a plan. A comic that rolls along without any obvious flow is just a mess, and that is not ISOLA. We readers are being taunted and tantalized by details, but it is obvious that this team knows where we are going and are leading readers on a journey nearly as confusing as what Rook has in front of her. As strong as the single issues are, this story will really sing in trade, and I can already hear readers hitting the last page of this first collection and screaming in anguish that they have to wait for more.

This is one hell of a comic. Readers are in the midst of what I feel will be a fantasy classic and I can’t wait until issue #6 is in my hands. I feel physical pain for the amount of time I’m going to be waiting, but if it is the same quality as these first 5 issues, it will be worth the damn wait.

The Verdict: 10/10


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