Evil Geek Book Report – Indie Spotlight: The Lion & the Unicorn
The Indie Spotlight burns bright today Evil Geeks, as we’re tearing open the treasure chest of internet submissions! Our selection this fine Sunday, The Lion & the Unicorn, comes to us by way of the UK from creator Ash Pure. It’s a tale of royal scheming and a scramble for the throne of the fictional kingdom of Albion. Think “Game of Thrones”, but with superpowers in lieu of swords!
As a great and wise man once taught us, “It’s good to be the King.” Actually, it’s good to be the King when you’re a virile, young man who can defend himself, but when your a frail, old man clinging to life, the vultures are bound to start circling sooner or later. Such is the case in The Lion & The Unicorn. Set in an alt-history version of the United Kingdom know as The Kingdom of the Isles, the story focuses on the sudden vacancy to the throne of one of the fiefdoms that make up the entire Kingdom. At the outset of the story, we are shown that the fiefdom of Albion has a slight problem with psychic powered terrorists blowing up commuter trains and such. People are starting to question whether Richard, the king of Albion, is even able to protect them any longer. One of those people questioning the king the hardest is Richard himself. He’s a whisp of a man, with hardly enough energy to lift a finger, let alone protect his entire realm. There are those who would look to exploit the ruler’s weakened state, including his “trusty’ right hand man, Malkolm. The first chapter of the series it titles “The King is Dead” so it’s not really much of a spoiler to say that Richard doesn’t make it very long into the story, which leaves Richards son Jonothan, the duties of wearing the crown (or in the case of Albion, the ring).
When Jonathan gets the news of his fathers demise, he’s off at an academy for advanced psychic development, where he’s training with a girl from a different fiefdom of Kingdom, known as Alba. This mysterious girl with the unicorn shirt, is host to special powers that aren’t specifically defined just yet, but we do know that they are lethal thanks to a special suit she wears to augment her abilities. Jonathan is very flirty with her, but that seems to be his M.O. with all women as he is after all known as “the Playboy Prince”. She rebuffs his attempts to hit on her at first, but when she hears of Jonathan’s impending coronation she seems concerned for him, so maybe there is an attraction there.
When Jon returns home to take control, one of the first things he does is issue an edict for an exiled man known as the Lion to return to Albion. The Lion is an indestructible superhuman, who’d been assigned to protect Jonothan’s mother, Dalili. Unfortunately, there was a car accident one night which Dalili did not survive. Since it happened on the Lion’s watch, he was the one who took the blame for the accident, which may have not been quite so accidental as everyone believed. I don’t want to give too much away regarding the plot, but there are forces at work behind the scenes, even within Jonothan’s remaining family, who may not be in agreement with Jon’s new edict. Someone is out to prevent the Lion’s return, perhaps for fear that the truth will be uncovered.
The artwork of The Lion & the Unicorn is a truly unique blend of photos and illustrations that create a surreal alt-London which seems modern, yet somehow mired in the industrial revolution at the same time. It’s a city littered with graffiti; indicating mostly that the inhabitants of Albion were less than thrilled with the conditions they were living in under Richard’s reign. The mixing of the mediums creates some stunning visuals and deepens the character of the world created in the story.
To delve deeper into The Lion & The Unicorn and the world of Albion, you can head over to thelionandtheunicorn.net or check out the book’s Facebook page! Got some coin burning a hole in your wallet AND a burning need to read some comics? Then make sure you stop by Comixology and grab yourself a copy of issues #1 and 2. If you like what you see, you can also reach out to the book’s creator Ash Pure on Twitter @AshPure.
All images and characters depicted are copyright of their respective owners. Please click on the “About Us” tab for our takedown policy.
Posted on July 6, 2014, in COMICS!, Evil Geek Book Report, Indie Spotlight, Reviews and tagged Ash Pure, COMICS!, Evil Geek Book Reports, Indie Comics, Indie Spotlight, The Lion and the Unicorn. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.