Isola #3 Review: Beautiful Art and a Mysterious Plot

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Olwyn dreams that she is human again, but Rook is dead. The vision fades, and she is still the tiger. She is being guided through swamplands by an eccentric old shaman called Hoot. Meanwhile, Rook is cornered by a group of warriors with designs on taking Queen Olwyn. They know the queen is a tiger, and Rook is in no position to stop them.

Isola #3 cover by Karl Kerschl
Isola #3 cover by Karl Kerschl

Isola #3 is another vision-centered issue bringing strange yet beautiful imagery and metaphysical and dreamlike logic for the characters. There is plenty of what is likely foreshadowing too, though such things tend to be symbolic more than literal in this kind of context.

The flow is good. The Olwyn half of the comic is strange yet grabbing. Hoot is a charming old eccentric. Rook's confrontation with the soldiers is tense, and the revelation of their knowledge ups the stakes appropriately.

We learn more of the exact nature of the relationship between Olwyn and Rook, and it's not what I expected. It adds another layer to the driving conflict of the comic. We learn that Rook has a tragic past, which, admittedly, isn't that surprising given the story structure and the backdrop of war[user_id]. We learn a little of the politics of this world too, which adds a little depth.

Isola #3 art by Karl Kerschl and MSASSYK
Isola #3 art by Karl Kerschl and MSASSYK

Karl Kerschl and MSASSYK continue to be the biggest selling point of the comic. The story is interesting and compelling, but the art is gorgeous and unlike anything you can get another comic. The world is well-designed and well-realized. The characters look great. The color art is brilliant, wild, and vibrant. Isola is a beautiful comic.

Isola #3 is another weird but engaging issue of the fledgling Image Comics series. Secrets are learned, stakes are raised, and the art is still wonderful. I'm left wanting to learn more about the world and its characters, and that is something for which most comics should aim. This comic earns another recommendation. Check it out.

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About Joshua Davison

Josh is a longtime super hero comic fan and an aspiring comic book and fiction writer himself. He also trades in videogames, Star Wars, and Magic: The Gathering, and he is also a budding film buff. He's always been a huge nerd, and he hopes to contribute something of worth to the wider geek culture conversation. He is also happy to announce that he is the new Reviews Editor for Bleeding Cool. Follow on Twitter @joshdavisonbolt.
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