Writer/Artist: Peter Bergting
Publisher: Image Comics
The Portent is a solid mini-series from top to bottom, and now I have the final issue (*sniff*) of the series to back that statement up. Peter Bergting has created a moving work of sequential fiction that should be discovered by all comic book fans, much less those who love tales of fantasy. The story moves and flows like a fairy tale, and the outstanding artwork captures every bit of the fantastic that Bergting is expressing with words. This is how a comic should be expressed to the masses, and I will reiterate a question I asked in an earlier review: How have we not heard of Bergting up until now? He obviously has artistic talent, but beyond that he has the ability to clearly present his ideas and images to the reader with effortless skill. My only hope is that he creates another installment of this fine series, though a new series crafted by him would be just as exciting. Sure, there are a few instances in issue #4 where the chore of wrapping up this storyline revealed faults, but one final impression prevailed: this is a wonderful ending to an aesthetically outstanding series.
You can say Milo becomes "The Man With No Name" in this final installment (He could pass for a young Eastwood). He finally learns that selflessness is what truly makes a hero, not the moniker of "Chosen One" that was taken by him. But, his pursuit of heroic glory is revealed for what it really is, and the shock of the revelation makes for a satisfying conclusion. During the pivotal scene in issue #3 when he kills The Chosen One, the dying man whispers something to him that the reader is not privy to. At the very end of this issue, we learn what those dying words were, which truly set Milo on the course we have observed and explains many of the questions readers may have pondered. The Chosen One cursed Milo to ďforever wander between worlds...Neither living nor dead...consumed by a desire to matter.Ē This explains many of Miloís selfish tendencies, as well as the sadness that clung to his character throughout the series. So his departure/sacrifice at the climax of the issue makes perfect sense. The final glimpse of Milo in the issue has him looking back to his beloved Lin, a slight smile creasing his face as he realizes he matters to at least one person in the crazy world he inhabits. Plus, for the benefit of the readers like me who are anticipating more, Miloís departure is open-ended, as Lin learns she will probably ďmeet him again someday.Ē Thatís great news for those who were as moved by this emotional fairy tale as I was. Issue #4 ends the series with a lot of heart and some unique surprises, meaning it was everything I hoped for and more.
Now, for my somewhat whiny complaints (Hey, I am entitled to these from time to time!). I think I would have really enjoyed more overt lead-ins to the romantic relationship between Milo and Lin, rather than the vague allusions that we saw. In issue #4, Bergting connects the two with Linís discovery of a blue flower (the Nezabudka) that Milo has left in her pocket. This is the same flower we saw as Milo struck down The Chosen One. Couldnít this oblique connection have been revisited once more, to insure that readers donít miss this connection? Also, this flower will supposedly help you find someone that you love, and in this case it will help Lin find Milo in the spirit realm. I donít know, but it felt like the romance between the two needed more dialogue or set-up, because the feelings that Lin has for Milo just werenít that apparent to me. Itís Bressonian in its subtlety, but I think some readers might think the romance/friendship angle might be a trifle thin.
However, these gripes aside, I once again say that this was a great ending to the series, as well as a superb character study of Milo, who is a character I wonít soon forget. I implore Peter Bergting and Image Comics to bring us further tales showcasing the unique world of The Portent.
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