Webcomics Weekly is back in your life as we approach issue #200. This week we have continued coverage of “Lore Olympus” and “The Uniques” as well as a recording of the Season 2 finale of “ The Witch’s Throne”. I hope it’s better than the people who want to sit on the Iron Throne.
Updates on Sundays
By Rachel Smith
Reviewed by Mel Lake
Persephone is still missing in the latest batch of “Lore Olympus” episodes, but we get a killer line of dialogue from her to a passing minor character. (“The sun never touches the underworld. It’s the perfect place.”) Hades, Artemis, and Eros had no luck finding Persephone, but now Hermes is also involved and determined to defend his friend ( and save his own skin in the process.)
Zeus is also back, trying to figure out what’s going on under his nose and going about it in the least subtle way possible. (He just asks everyone he meets what they’ve been hiding, which, yeah, isn’t exactly the best way to stop people from lying to you, man.) The plot thickens in this batch of episodes, as Hermes finds out Minthe and company’s plot to sabotage Persephone and Hera obtains confirmation of Apollo’s distraught desire to marry Persephone.
Although I only read a batch of three episodes, these were jam-packed with intrigue, which I appreciate. Sometimes “Lore Olympus” dwells on subplots that don’t interest me or spends a lot of time dwelling on the feelings of its protagonists. And it’s a valid storytelling choice! I have a heart of stone, however, so I rarely melt into Hades and Persephone’s half-hearted attempt to have a relationship and a friendship and a suitable work situation at the same time. When things move at a fast pace, however, I remember why I enjoyed “Lore Olympus” so much in the beginning. All the characters are active, doing things to advance the plot and further their own interests, and Episode 126 ends on a big cliffhanger, as Zeus issues a warrant for Persephone and Demeter’s arrest. It was a natural place to stop this week, but it’s also tough because, for the first time in a long time, I really wanted to keep going and find out what happens next.
Kudos also to the artwork in this bundle, which looked more like the character designs from the first strip to me. I loved seeing Artemis in her battle gear and always love when Hecate takes charge. I’m also curious to see if the arrival of Hera’s new assistant, Echo, means we’ll get to see the ‘Lore Olympus’ version of Narcissus’ story, which could really be something.
By Comfort and Adam (art and history) Color Flats by various
Reviewed by Michael Mazzzacane
Something strange happens between episodes 18 and 19 of “The Uniques”, the end of the confrontation in the mall is just elided between the metaphorical gutter space. When we start Episode 19, the fight is over, with the Mall Goths appearing to have escaped. The team still hasn’t registered with the government (which I hope becomes a recurring gag) and hasn’t faced the consequences. It’s a decent comedic beat to start the tape off, but is still confusing and disorienting. It also gives us a first look at the team doing the press or why they shouldn’t be doing the press in the first place.
The remaining two episodes of this batch of tapes focus a little more on team bonds and the motherboard comes out on its own. The motherboard plot is interesting because it brings them out from behind the running keyboard and into the action as it punches one of the Goths in the mall. Turns out they may be related to a super-rich football mom guy, who unfortunately isn’t named Karen. It will be interesting to see where this line goes and if Motheboard is captured. Removing them from the Eye in the Sky role would force the team to act more like a team in the heat of battle instead of just listening to comm calls.
Doing karaoke as a team to bond and relax makes conceptual sense. I even especially like what the remaining bands deal with. There are some weird changes to the art style and the characters change their model a bit. The panels and all are a little too intent on coding the realization of infatuations between certain characters, but this is a teenage superhero book, I should be there for that on some level. It never comes off as well as I hope quoting the lyrics just enough at the limits of vertical scrolling when it comes to environment design. Since this isn’t one of the first editorial tapes, I don’t know if they have the capability, but for the karaoke tape, it would be cool to see them play around with the audio backing feature found in the webtoons. Making or allowing music would be difficult, but it would activate the missing sensory note as the team sings over pitchers of beer. A similar scene in “Sex Criminals” only works because the creative team unearthed this utter lack.
Somewhat sketchy art aside from the actual moments of the characters mostly landing and “Uniques” continuing to be a stir which is a good shot. Reading these people hanging out and interacting is what interests me the most as the creative team continues to flesh out and develop everyone’s interpersonal dynamic. The superhero stuff is just a nice bonus.
The Witch’s Throne
“Toxic Part 1” – “Despair”
Updates: during the break of the season
By Cedric Cabales
Colored by Selena Ahmed & Kenny Tran
Letters from Kait Routsis
Reviewed by Elias Rosner
When I last reviewed “The Witch’s Throne,” Season 2 had just begun, and now I’m reviewing said season finale. I said it was one of the few webcomics I thought was worth buying parts for and I still stick to that assessment. While I wish Tapas would do what Webtoons do, release the issues after a while, I understand the business model difference. What was I talking about again? Oh that’s right. “The Witch’s Throne.”
After a long season of world-building and character growth, Season 2 kicked off the action with the start of a real blue tournament bow. We also learned a lot about how the world works, but it was mostly an excuse to test our characters emotionally and physically, putting their principles to the test and their growth at stake. Before “Toxic”, the rest of Agni’s crew had had their battles and they were murderers. How would Agni fight and not kill his opponent? Would she die? Who would it be?
The answer to all of these questions is tantalizing and going into this final arc is so ubiquitous that one forgets to ask the most important question: why hasn’t Agni’s new friend Mori fought yet? ?
It’s a twist that I didn’t see coming but that made perfect sense. I was floored like Agni and filled with despair because, well, Mori was Agni’s friend. She remains Agni’s friend. And now they have to fight in the first round, before Agni figures out how to cheat the rules and kill no one. This development provides the emotional stakes of the battle and is the perfect way to close out the season.
It’s a low point for our protagonist, a harrowing battle where we’re forced to wonder if she can hold her own in such a ruthless and brutal tournament. It seems, at first glance, that she will not. And that, more than the fight, more than his loss and death, is the most painful and stressful part of this arc. I won’t spoil the resolution, but it lives up to the title of the season finale episode, “Despair,” while still retaining the show’s central message.
It’s a cruel world. But you don’t have to be cruel to live in it or change it.