Written: Frankee White
Art: Adam Markiewicz
Logo and Design: Dc Hopkins
Edits: Andrea Lorenzo Molinari
Cover: Adam Markiewicz with colour assists by Melanie Darling
Publisher: Caliber Comics
“Broken Bear does not just tug at the heart strings it slices straight through them”
What is the story with Broken Bear?
Broken Bear is a high fantasy adventure comic which has been lovingly crafted and carefully constructed. It tells the story of Bear and Selm, Bear is a feared and highly skilled warrior and Selm is his ward. Selm and Bear came to be an unlikely duo when he came to her aid many years prior. He is a strong, brave hero but our tale is not about him.
It is about Selm, young, impulsive, lost Selm. **Danger and Spoilers ahead**
Whilst travelling through treacherous forests they come across a cabin, home to a witch. The witch, whispers in Selm’s ear and prays on her insecurities and her vulnerabilities. In a rather misinformed deal with the witch, she kills Bear in exchange for his strength and power. But, does she gain more than she lost that day?
Selm finds herself moving with a different crowd, in a land full of magic and interesting new characters. Led into a new magical world hidden in the base of a great tree, there are so many sights to see and new things to experience. For Selm, being led by her new friends Kik and Kiklyn it’s a fantastical new world like she could never have imagined. However, she quickly finds herself and the lives of her new friends, in terrible danger.
Wielding Bear’s power and his mantle, she tries to help but often makes things significantly worse. She eventually leaves this magical new land and with a heavier heart and friendship has turned to animosity. She falls asleep, the Witch whispering in her ear and, she awakens in a new time, new place and a new nightmare.
Broken Bear’s adventure is only just beginning
You can’t help but feel for Selm, your heart breaks for the life she has led so far and the hard path ahead of her. She lived with her past weighing on her shoulders, feeling powerless and vulnerable despite Bear’s protection.
We can all sympathise with Selm, we know the feeling of our past weighing heavy on us like a hand always pushing on your chest. So her wanting a way to feel powerful is completely understandable and a choice many of us would take, there comes a time when you need to strike out alone and push through your fears. (Though we would recommend not killing anyone as the start of that journey if possible).
Selm is a really well-crafted antagonist, in that she tried so hard to help but just makes it worse. She often responds to things with a bit of a selfish and petulant attitude, reminding us that at the core of it all she is still so young. Too young, to be dealing with what she has on her plate. She is not the shining knight who was “born for this” she is a deeply flawed, scared girl trying to survive.
As Broken Bear advances and as we see Selm grow, it will be interesting to see her grow and how her experiences shape the nuances of her personality. Selm may be stubborn as heck, but her physical strength is not the only thing she has plenty off. Our girl has a huge capacity for compassion and though she doesn’t always make the situation better, her heart is in the right place and we absolutely love her for it.
She is not your typical hero, but she is a hero to me.
The nitty gritty
Broken Bear is a carefully constructed work in every aspect, from the writing, the character designs, the colours to the lettering. This is a meaty comic that has been crafted with love. I particularly liked the scenes in the magical market with all the different types of creatures and characters. Especially, Deren and his little beard and wings!
If there is something that Broken Bear does not lack, it is heart, it is in every panel and every page by the bucket load. I eagerly look forward to exploring more of this world!
You can pre-order Broken Bear now from any good LCS or from Forbidden Planet!
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