Ansel’s quest comes to a surprising conclusion in FOLKLORDS #5, available in comic book stores on Wednesday, March 25th. After embarking on a journey to find answers to questions about his origins, the out of sorts hero has faced many fantastical challenges across the land. However, it appears our modern, “real” world has invaded not only Ansel’s dreams but his plane of existence as well. Will he and his band of friends prevent the two realities from destroying each other? And where are the Folklords?
The story opens up with a bang (literally) as Ansel, Archer, and Ugly hide behind a barrier as a World War 2 tank barrels down their path. It seems that the modern world is meshing with their reality in highly destructive ways. Yet Ansel notices something peculiar about the tank: it’s made of wood.
As it turns out, a group of drugged gnomes were forced to pilot the tank as a ruse. The real danger lies in the group of Librarians, who soon apprehend our heroes. And in a short few panels, readers are introduced to John Ronald, a.k.a. The Folklord. And he claims he’s invented the entire world they’re living in with nothing but his mind.
Matt Kindt’s narrative contains all of the thrill and flair one would expect out of any best-selling fantasy novel. The build up to the Folklord’s reveal is played out well, slowing down afterward as the reality of his position takes time to set in. But even though things take a turn for a worse, Kindt finds ways to balance the tone so readers don’t dwell in despair for long.
The illustrations within FOLKLORDS #5 are a perfect blend of modernity and fantasy. Matt Smith’s penciling and ink work incorporates suits, ties, and war attire in the middle of a fantastical labyrinth. Colorist Chris O’Halloran fills these “modern images” in with a combination of the bland colors to create a stark difference between them and Ansel’s colorful world. In addition, Jim Campbell’s lettering looks as if it was torn from a fairytale book, adding to the authenticity of this tale.
Smith put together the main cover of this issue, and it captures the essence of this issue. We see Ansel ascending a mountain and coming upon a shining pinnacle, representing the conclusion of this journey.
Unlocked Retailer Variant Cover
Jeff Smith’s variant cover depicts Ansel smiling gleefully as he’s ferried across a river into unknown territory. It looks much like the River Styx, drawing analogies to the fabled passage in Greek mythology.
FOLKLORDS #5 is a satisfying conclusion to this exciting narrative, but it also opens up the door to something totally new. We hope to see more from Kindt, Smith, and team in the future!
What do you think about the Folklord’s identity? Let us know in the comments below!