Battlecats is an epic fantasy comic series full of action and adventure set in the feline ruled world of Valderia. The first five issues of the series from Mad Cave Studios are collected under the title The Hunt for the Dire Beast and this will wow you with the depth of its storytelling. This fantastical blend of an animal run society combined with a mystical world of royals and epic quests is a dynamic and engaging read.
In the first issue Mark London, the writer for the series, establishes the mythology of Valderia through a fireside discussion between the wise and aging Natharien and a young cub on the verge of joining the brave force known as the Battlecats. We see the rise of an entire universe from the moment of creation through the span of three generations of chosen rulers, all of whom are named Eramad. These kings are each a massive lion, known as lionborne. Valderia must have a lionborne in power to maintain the monarchical society. The depth of story that has gone into the building this universe within just the first issue is fascinating and there is even a book connected to it that expands on all of the history London presents.
The remaining four issues focus on the Battlecats who are serving under the rule of Eramad III and have been sent out to find and kill the Dire Beast. Each of the ferocious felines within the Battlecats have their own special powers and talents. Kelthan is their leader and the connecting point between the first issue and the rest of the five issue run within The Hunt for the Dire Beast arc. Kaleera has glowing green eyes and can best even the strongest beasts, but as a red moon appears she finds her powers becoming limited. Mekkar is the comic relief and bard of the group, while Zorien is the hulking muscle who jumps into the fray when it appears no one else can succeed. The most powerful though is Vaela whose ability to heal appears to be just the beginning of her intense magical strength. Their quest for the Dire Beast finds them battling a number of other dangerous beings. While following the orders of their king is the highest priority of all Battlecats they will find themselves fighting against more than they ever imagined.
The history of Valderia is wonderfully crafted and the story within this arc is full of twists and turns that will keep you guessing, it also supported by masterfully crafted action sequences. The scenes are dynamically drawn by Andy King in the first four issues and Michael Camelo in the fifth issue and the vibrancy of the colors, especially during the Battlecat fights, is artfully done by Julian Gonzalez in the first and fifth issues and Alejandro Giraldo in the second, third, and fourth. The lettering within this series also blends scripture like world bubbles with more traditional word work from Miguel Zapata and Christian Ospina.
You can find out more about Battlecats, the flagship book of Mad Cave Studios, as well as a number of their other titles on their website.
Share your thoughts with us in the comments or on Twitter, @thenerdygirlexp. You can find me on Twitter, @kleffnotes, on my blog, kleffnotes.wordpress.com, on my kleffnotes YouTube channel, and I run The Nerdy Girl Express Snapchat, thenerdygirlexp.