BATTLEPUG #2 left the last Kinmundian in dire straits; the Queen of the Northland Elves overwhelmed him with Jofel’s forces and, adding insult to injury, convinced Sprinkles to leave with an other-worldly, giant human. Crushed in both body and soul, the Kinmundian must somehow find the strength to defeat the evil Queen all alone, lest she continue terrorizing the realm. Elsewhere, Bryony and the rest of the group continue to track their friend through the countryside, leading to an unfortunate confrontation with the Nobody’s Ponies, a group of horse thieves intent on murdering the entire group.
Can both groups use their connections to the mystical Balance to defeat their foes, or will these events cause a disruption in the world’s forces unlike any before? Find out when BATTEPUG #3 hits stores on Wednesday, November 13th.
The Nobody’s Ponies have no intention of letting anyone pass through their woods unscathed, especially a group of mages. Their prowess in stomping is nothing to brush aside. Sasha, the Immortal, leads the charge against the lead Pony wearing her impenetrable armor in hopes of alleviating the threat. But the hero acted too soon; another thief snuck up on her partner, Ladora, threatening to chomp her head off.
But in this moment of felt powerlessness, Bryony’s mage abilities erupt in a powerful display. A mass of vines entangle the Ponies before any harm can be done, squeezing the life out of them. The rage the girl expresses toward those who would harm her mother is unparalleled. We feel the anger of Bryony at anyone who would harm our loved ones. And it’s a this moment that the young mage pushes past self-defense and seeks vengeance, claiming the Balance would be on her side as well.
Back in the Northland, the Kinmundian faces torture at the hands (or candy canes) of Jofel while the Queen explains her master plan (as villains often do). We learn her ultimate quest is the seek a power beyond the Balance led her to the giant boy, a being said to come from another reality. In exchange for Sprinkles, he grants the Queen a mystical amulet that could grant her far greater powers.
Writer Mike Norton is ramping up the Queen’s powers in these gut-wrenching ways. But with the incredible might of Bryony and the other warriors, it looks like the coming conflict will be earth-shattering.
Norton’s penciling and inking, Allen Passalaqua’s coloring, and the lettering from CRANK! work together beautifully in BATTLEPUG #3. Norton’s ability to craft illustrations that are fantastical distortions of the real world gives readers the impression that this world could theoretically exist in a parallel universe alongside our own. Passalaqua aides in this effort by featuring bright, wild colors alongside the lush greens and icy blues found throughout the story’s setting. And CRANK!’s lettering uses fonts that appear to be handwritten; it’s almost as if the dialogue were taken from one of the character’s journals, adding to the story’s immersive effects.
Norton and Passalaqua’s main cover for the book places all the focus on Bryony; she’s pictured in a mass of her own vines holding a miniature version of the Nobody’s Ponies boss, representing her power over them.
Jason Shawn Alexander and Luis Nct’s variant cover hearkens back to the original two characters in this series—the Kinmundian and Sprinkles. The use of pastel colors gives the illustration an almost historic look.
BATTLEPUG #3 unveils many of the mysteries we saw in issue #2, but opens up another batch of unanswered questions. We’re excited to learn more about the Queen and Bryony’s powers.
What do you think the Kinmundian’s chances of survival are at this point? Let us know in the comments below!