Written by Matt Kindt
Illustrated by Matt Smith
Colored by Chris O’Halloran
Lettered by Jim Campbell
“Edits. This entire room needs edits!”
In This Issue: Ansel and Ugly have found Archer (presumed dead) in a portion of the library labyrinth staged to look like a WWI novel. Their reunion is short, however, as a tank approaches. Ansel, who has seen one before in his visions, discovers that it is made of wood rather than metal, and manned by drugged gnomes who are propelling it forward via some sort of bicycle pedal setup. After extricating the gnomes, Ansel and Archer argue about Archer’s desertion, ignoring Ugly’s urgings form them to knock it off. Unfortunately, the boys don’t listen, and all of them get captured by a large group of librarians.
The librarians take them to an office where a distinguished-looking elderly gentlemen in similar attire to Ansel’s is sitting at a desk with Sal at his side. The man, John Ronald, claims to be THE Folklord. He tells the group that he is from elsewhere, that it is his wordsmithing that keeps their world going, and that he is, in fact, immortal in their world—only someone from his own world can kill him. Ansel is outraged at Ronald’s claims, and Ugly is impatient. Ronald, having pulled a gun on them during his monologue, shoots Ugly, but is then struck down from behind by someone seemingly out of nowhere.
It’s Demure, Ansel’s would-be love interest from his home village. It turns out that her quest the year before hadn’t been to find the goose that lays the golden egg at all. She had set out to find the Folklords, too. Ronald recovers from Demure’s attack and retaliates, shooting her as well before clocking Ansel and sending him to the floor. Standing over them, trigger finger poised, he is taken out by Sal—and stays down.
Sal’s ability to kill Ronald opens up a whole cavern of questions, but most of them have to wait.
Let’s just say that the story has really just begun.
My Two Cents: Issue #5 of Folklords, the final issue in this arc, is packed full of plot-forwarding action—so much so that it becomes marginally overwhelming. The art and writing are as solid as usual, but the sheer amount of information and dialogue presented makes one wonder if it might not have been better to separate this issue out into two parts. Beyond that, the story has taken an interesting (though not unexpected) turn into a sort of multi-universe setting with movement of information between worlds, and the possibility of characters doing the same. The sudden rush to get the readers to this point, however, detracts from the gravity with which the shift in plot line could have been handled.