Skyworld Vol. 1

If it took 9 years for the creators Mervin Ignacio and Ian Sta. Maria to finish this book, then it's definitely worth it to wait that long. Even if Philippine Mythology as a theme is the current trend and cliche in the world of Komiks, reading this book still gives the reader a chill like a reunion with a childhood crush. There's a familiar feeling even if the old face has changed into something better or worse.

I scored the two-volume collection in the just concluded Summer Komikon in Bayanihan Center-Pasig City. The book design is good, there's a series of dynamic pages that perfectly blended well with the slightly unorthodox narrative (I'm defining traditional narrative here as purely linear like connecting the dots from point A to point B), and it's all action from early pages to the final scene without sacrificing the flow of the story. The art is superbly Pinoy and heads literally rolled from countless beheadings and decapitations. The scene with the Asuang skewering an ancient God is unforgettable, it's even more brutal than what the Hulk did to Loki in that Avengers movie. Puny God indeed.

As a Filipino reader who knows at heart a rural legend or two, should I expect a certain period in literature in the future when we're all fed up with Aswang, Tikbalang, Engkanto, Duwende, and Bathala? My answer is no. As much as our grandparents never get tired of telling these fantastic stories, we will never get tired of hearing, reinventing, and retelling these mythologies to the next generation according to our own biases and understanding. These are all part of a neverending ritual, a passage of history and culture that will define our race as distinctively Filipino.

Now, on to the next volume!

Genre: Philippine Mythology, Dark Fantasy, Historical Fantasy, Urban Horror
Rating: 4 amulets out of 5

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