Writers: John Barker, Bryan Borgman, Stephanie Forney
Artist: Sean Forney
Colorist: Sean Forney
Letterers: Stephanie and Sean Forney
Pinups: Jay Fife, Scott D. M. Simmons
Production Assists: Austin Fraley
Review by: Josh Gillam
Scarlet Huntress is one of those comic books that reminds me of why I enjoy independent and self published books so much. This book is the result of a kickstarter project and a group of talented folks that you can really tell poured their hearts into it.
While the Scarlet Huntress has her own series, this issue is a standalone that you can enjoy without having read any of the other books. To get started, all you need to know is that this is a lot like Little Red Riding Hood. Only in this case, the one wolf is multiple werewolves and Little Red is a killing machine with swords and guns… and she looks pretty good in that cloak too. Tales Through Time is composed of three different stories that, as the title suggests, take place throughout different periods in time.
The first story takes place at an undetermined point in the past. We see the Scarlet Huntress tracking down wolves when she comes across a small group of villagers hiding out in the forest. They tell her that they are hiding from a large monster and our heroine heads off to hunt it down. She engages in battle with the monster and then fends off a sneak attack from the wolves. It’s a great battle scene that results in not one, but two decapitations! That’s what I call a successful day.
The second story takes place in the near future. More specifically, the year 2015. This story starts off the Scarlet Huntress speeding down a stretch of road on a motorcycle. She receives a call from a man who directs her to a power plant that has been attacked by wolves. She cuts and shoots her way through wolves as she makes her way into the power plant. During this process is one of my favorite panels in the whole book, where we see a couple of the wolves standing guard and the Scarlet Huntress in the background leaping down from above with sword in each hand. She then holds a wolf at gunpoint and proceeds interrogate it, finding out that they were after some blueprints for a super robot. After disposing of the last wolf, she takes the blueprints and departs from the power plant.
The third and final story takes place at another undetermined moment in time. My guess is that it takes place around the same time as the second story, due to the presence of the motorcycle and the use of a specific name for a bad guy being present in both stories. We start off seeing the Huntress trying to track down the leader of the werewolves. She chases down one lead that doesn’t quite pan out, but she does get another name. This lead brings on another confrontation with a werewolf that appears to be one of the higher ups in the werewolf world. This confrontation ends with another dead wolf and a pissed off Huntress. The cloaked heroine then searches the area and finds a note from the head honcho, taunting her.
As I stated earlier, I don’t think it is necessary to be familiar with the Scarlet Huntress series to enjoy this book, however, there is enough mystery in the stories to get you hooked and make you want to start reading it. I should know, it happened to me. I absolutely love the way the Scarlet Huntress character is written. She’s that classic badass and no b.s. kind of heroine that is hard not to fall in love with. There is some really great dialogue in this book and some lines delivered by the Huntress that will almost make you want to stand up and cheer. My favorite line is delivered when the Huntress is surrounded by several werewolf children and she says, “Run! Hide! Grow big and strong! I will return for your heads!” That’s just one example of the dialogue that makes the Scarlet Huntress awesome, but also dark and a little scary. All three stories give you plenty of action while also giving you little glimpses into the mind and back story of the Huntress.
Being a fan of Sean Forney’s work I expected to see some great artwork in this book, and I was more than pleased. Sean Forney’s artwork makes an already great story come alive and jump out at you. The settings he creates in each story really stand out and make each scene that much more vivid and tense. One example of this is in the first story where the Huntress is in a forest covered in snow. Every panel that shows her in the forest, save for the action scenes, shows a fog that is drifting through in the background. It was such a great touch and really made those scenes stand out. The action scenes throughout the book are already awesome, but there is one thing that makes them that much better and that thing is the Huntress’ cloak. The cloak flows and flies around while she is fighting and it helps to accentuate her movements and makes the action feel more intense. The way she moves in the battle sequences portrays her as powerful, yet graceful. Each story has plenty of these beautiful battle scenes in addition to unique settings and character designs.
This book is the epitome of all that is right with independent and self published comics. Stephanie and Sean Forney created a dark, mysterious, and gorgeous heroine and built up a dangerous and deadly world for her to play in. Tales Through Time is a gateway comic that will pull you into the Scarlet Huntress’ universe and make you a devoted fan.
This book is only available online, and right now it’s only $.99! You can get it at the link here from Drive Thru Comics. So what are you waiting for? Go buy it already!
Josh Gillam is the creator and writer for the webcomic/comedy project, Cynical Stew. You can follow him on Twitter at @Cynical_Stew