So when we last left our heroic octogenarians, Peruvia was still deep into training mode for Lottie. Although, some time had to be made to rescue young Sarah from having her life force sucked out by an invasive monster. Such is the life of a Champion.
But the one thing they don’t warn Champions about is the boredom that comes in the waiting. So how do you kill the time productively? You take a dive in the worlds of dreams. What ELSE did you think could be done? This is what leads up to issue three of Ash and Thorn.
Do Not Disturb
Lottie and Peruvia are laying in bed, breathing fumes from cups of tea on either side of the bed. They do not stir and Peruvia had taken the time to write a warning card. Basically a “Do Not Disturb” notice. This was how young Sarah has found them. While she has read the card, she is struggling with the idea of ignoring it and attempting to wake them. Since Lottie saved her life, she is pretty much committed to the cause. Whatever THAT is.
Do you want to play a Game?
Before she can reconsider, the blue imp Pickle appears. He warns her that she should forget any notions she has of disturbing them. Instead, since she is so fascinated with magic, they can play a board game. If she wins, he will tell her whatever she want to know…probably. His qualification doesn’t go unnoticed. Still, she agrees.
Where the Tea Party Started
While this is going on, there is a flashback to the day before. This where Lottie and Peruvia discussed making the exploration of their shared subconscious. Lottie for one was not enthusiastic about this concept. All she thought was that her brain is functioning properly now, she didn’t want to attempt anything to upset THAT apple cart.
Peruvia basically made it sound like Lottie would admitting fear by not agreeing to it. Well Lottie Thorn isn’t afraid. At least she wouldn’t admit to it to Peruvia. So they would be required to drink a foul tasting tea first. Which took Lottie a bit of moral fortitude to just do that. At least as far as she was concerned. Before too long, they were both sprawled on the floor.
The Dream World
Lottie found herself going up a long staircase. Pictures of what appeared to be former Champions on the wall? All were women, all were very young, and all were dead. Why would that sacrifice be made? The stairs soon change to a thorny vine. Lottie still ascends, still contemplating whether death is always the inevitable outcome.
As for Peruvia, she has found a single vine. By pulling it out, she also ascends. She obviously knows something about its meaning and she cries NO as she journeys. No to what is not revealed. Eventually both Lottie and Peruvia end up in the same place. They are covered in vines, as if they were a blanket.
Feeling Useless is to be Expected
Meanwhile, Sarah is playing Pickles’ game. And losing every time. She is still worried about Lottie and Peruvia. Pickle warns her again about the consequences of waking them. But Sarah is feeling useless. For his part, Pickle snidely remarks that is to be expected, she IS only human.
They should play another game. Maybe she might win. Of course. Sarah believes that Pickle is cheating. He doesn’t deny it. In fact, it is the point of the game. She knocks the pieces from the board telling him how much she hates him right now. “That is good,” He replies, adding “I like you.”
The Peruvia Tree
Back in the dream realm, Lottie has come across a tree with Peruvia’s face at the end of every branch. Like a Peruvia Pair tree. Each face is telling Peruvia how much she has failed and how useless Lottie is. She has brought them the worst Champion. Too old, too feeble. So much power that was wasted because of her age. The end will come because of their failure. It is also pondered…Where is Peruvia’s Power? Where was HER time? As for Lottie. She wonders why things are so mean and ugly here?
The faces of Lottie
Peruvia is walking through a hallway, looking at pictures of Lottie. She ponders how will they get her to harness her power. She see’s Sarah and Lottie painting together. What would she become? Lottie has so much Power. So much.
Sarah had decided to play Pickle on more time with the same results. She finally admits she cannot win. Pickle praises her for finally getting it. She CANNOT win. With that in mind, Sarah is still concerned that Lottie has not stirred yet. She wants to wake the pair up. Pickle warns not to touch them. They are close to their goal.
An Offer Someone Can’t Refuse
Well if their goal is the Monstrosity before them, then they HAVE reached it. The creature tells the pair a choice must be made. For Lottie, she can decide to forgo her Champion responsibilities. They will make her forget all about what has transpired. She will live out her life in peace and not realize the end is near. When it does come, it will end peacefully for her.
As for Peruvia, she is offered what she has never had. Power that only her Champions have possessed. The ability to shape things as she wishes. The power of Chaos. While Lottie refuses to accept her offer, Peruvia has never had that kind of Power. She surprisingly accepts. They awake to a whole new problem now, as the issue ends.
In any short series, there eventually comes a moment where the spit hits the proverbial fan. Issue 3 is that moment for Ash and Thorn. While Lottie knows she is not the Champion they had hoped for, she was the one they have. She would do all she could whether anyone else believed in her or not. As far as she was concerned, there was no turning back or forgetting. Even given the choice. That probably went by the wayside when Sarah was attacked (see issue 2).
Peruvia however was concerned. She worried if she could get Lottie ready in time. She also appears to regret that she has never had that power. The Power that has been been given to others. She has the knowledge. She would know what to do. So she accepts the offer given her. What would transpire because of that decision will be revealed in the next two issues.
Mariah McCourt has put the literary pedal down as the story has taken a serious turn. Will Peruvia present a problem for Lottie or will she join her in the fight? What is Pickles role in the upcoming confrontation? How about Sarah? So many questions, so few issue left to resolve them.
I have said many times how much I love the covers of Jill Thompson. They are so whimsical and bright and imaginative. Miss Lee still keeps the story moving with her pencil and pen skills. She also draws a pretty freaky looking monster. The fact that she does most of her work traditionally is beyond impressive. If you don’t believe me, watch her on her Twitch site. Meanwhile, Miss Bowland is doing her fine job, rocking the purples in this issue as she blends them in to great effect in the dream world.
It wouldn’t be an Ahoy comic if it didn’t throw in some extras. More stories for you to read, More recipes for you to try in Pickles Pantry, More More More. You can never feel like you didn’t get your money’s worth with Ahoy and Ash and Thorn.
Overall an exciting turn to the story as it builds to it eventual climax in issue 5. Have you been following Ahoy Comics Ash and Thorn? If so, let us know what you think so far. If not, pick up issues 1 and 2 where great comic books are sold. Issue Three releases this Wednesday, July 29th.
Senior Writer at GeekVibesNation – I am a 50 something child of the 70’s who admits to being a Star Trek/Star Wars/Comic Book junkie who once dove head first over a cliff (Ok, it was a small hill) to try to rescue his Fantastic Four comic from a watery grave. I am married to a lovely woman who is as crazy as I am and the proud parent of a 17 year old boy with autism. My wife and son are my real heroes.