Retribution Engine [Martial Arts Progression Fantasy]

This is an absolute behemoth of a story. That's all I have to open with here, it took me three days to binge this monster, and what a glorious monster it is.

I can't pretend this series is for everybody, and in fact there's some minor aspects that rub me a bit of a wrong way, but the core of this story is sending a very specific message, part of which is kind of about the fact that to a certain degree, personal iddological differences are inevitable and fine. Just don't be an asshole, y'know?

But if you are an asshole, then you're eventually going to get your ass kicked, and THAT is what this story is really about: sometimes violence is just straight up the answer.

And from there I'll talk about the characters. Our main character here is a walking testemony to the glory of violence when it is used in service of a righteous goal. In this case, nothing more or less than beating the fuck out of people who maliciously harm others, and MURDERING THE UNHOLY HELL OUT OF IMPERIALIST FASCISTS, OH I HAVE NEVER BEEN SO CATERED TO.

If you're looking for complex and nuanced political drama, this ain't for you. I've got places to go to if I wanna think about the complexities of war and government, if I wanna think about how "war crimes" are only punished instead of prevented. 

This story is about punching dictators in the dick. This story is about blowing a suicide bomber's head off before he can press the detonator. It's about nothing more or less than pest extermination. 

Sorry, I keep getting pulled back to the story in general. The characters are wide and varied, and we are given a vast spectrum of people to see this world through. Even when we see through the mind of a truly evil man, we are still shown the very worst part about monsters: they're still human. It's awful, that even dictators have favorite colors and preferred bands, that even genocidal maniacs will choose a specific restaraunt to go to because they like the food and service. And in contrast, we are shown the ravages of guilt and the impossibility of innocence, but also that a lack of innocence is not a damnation. Repentance is always possible, even though so few choose to walk that difficult path. 

Style wise, the author does something very fascinating with in-scene POV changes to refocus on other aspects of a given situation in a way that speeds up what would otherwise be a tedius but necessary sequence. Where Zelsys has to outline a full design prospect, Zefaris browses shelves and gives us a look at other places of the world. No moment is wasted, every chapter is purposeful to the Nth degree. It's downright masterful.

Grammar wise, no complaints, in fact even in the best crafted works I sometimes struggle to parse a sentence but that just hasn't happened here! 

In summation: if you ever think to yourself, "How many people have to die as a result of like three hundred people in power choosing to make more money before people start killing them back," then read this story! Because the main character asks herself that question, says "Three or so give or take the circumstances," and starts killing people and doesn't stop. 

Romantically Apocalyptic Webcomic

A marvelous tale through the life of death

Now, I know it's a bit cliched to give all five stars, but I simply feel that this gorgeous work of art deserves it and then some!

The style is, of course, mind shatteringly magnificent, and not just because it's gorgeous! No, this comic goes above an beyond by having a dazzling array of styles, a collective effort by many artists to bring to life a story richer and more complex than you'd ever expect. And more than a little silly, because silliness is fun and we all need some fun in life.

From spine tingling threats that defy description and have to be seen to be believed, to dizzying depths of absolute buffoonery that is eventually revealedd to have been very sane indeed, this comic just never stops blowing past expectations. 

The characters are wonderful. What seems to be flat turns, ever so slightly, and gives you a glimpse of impossibly intricate details that you can't quite make out past the edge of that flat, broad characterization you were greeted with. And eventually, as they turn more and more, you come to realize that their surface level wasn't just hiding untold depths: it was also still accurate. Nothing that is further revealed undermines what was there, knowing the trick of it doesn't ruin the spectacle. 

It's just a beautiful comic, from top to bottom, mae by so many passionate people and filled with so very much love that I can't give it anything less than a score that reflects what it is: