The Pirate Queen
It’s a rare treat to find a story go from one time period to another, but here we are. Wrath of the Cursed has moved on from its fantasy Japan setting to another generation, with the same premise and the same promise. Even then, does it work?
The Pirate Queen is swashbuckling adventure which only barely fits on the mythos of the story. It’s entertaining and does have quite an impressive story, albeit a tenuous entry into this myth of a ghost of generations.
Moving To Arabia: The Story and Writing of The Pirate Queen
The Pirate Queen is a story within The Wrath of the Cursed Complete Collection. It is independently published and contains an anthology of stories within the Wrath of the Cursed universe. The Pirate Queen was written by Matt Kyme, with illustration and lettering from Ben Sullivan.
The story follows the kingdom of the Pirate Queen of the Say Ton, a pirate kingdom built on raiding and pillaging other countries. Princess Sala, the daughter of the Queen, and Lord Achmed, another pirate master, are scheduled to have a political marriage.
The writing of Pirate Queen is an impressive story, reminiscent of 70s or 80s swashbuckling adventures. It reminds me of Lawrence of Arabia and even Casablanca.
It’s rare to see stories with Arabic themes, so it’s a neat surprise to see such a story. Matt has a penchant for using seemingly exotic time periods to underscore the expansive legacy of The Cursed.
This time, the focus on The Cursed is not front and centre, but rather more on the worldbuilding of the time period. It goes unmentioned but it seems The Cursed has history with every character, even if the story feels like a one-shot side story.
The plot progression is contained within whatever small kingdom the pirates had. The main characters weren’t even there in the first half of the story. If the story didn’t remind me who The Cursed is, I would’ve missed it in its entirety.
I’m not saying the writing is bad. The entire story drips of Matt Kyme’s fingerprints all over it. Even then, I’ve seen great stories that don’t connect in full with the primary storyline, and that’s ok. I would’ve preferred for this story to be a standalone, with no connection to The Cursed.
Pencil Mastery 101: The Art of The Pirate Queen
It’s my first exposure to Ben Sullivan’s art and it’s exquisite, to say the least. His technique and pencil is reminiscent of 70’s to 80s comics, not because it looks old but due to its handmade look.
I can look at every panel and stare at it for hours, with clean lines and nicely controlled inking. The shading style is traditional, with everything feeling like a cleanly penned art panel.
I appreciate the work Ben put into cleaning the panels. The crosshatching, together with the clean white space, showed how much he cared about his panels. The entire art style works with zero colour, and I’m not sure if there’s any other way of looking at it.
Is The Pirate Queen A Must Read?
Should you read The Pirate Queen? If you’re looking for a great story, this is a solid standalone tale. It is not the best Wrath of the Cursed story but it scratches the itch well enough.
There are more side stories and prologue tales in the comics, and I can’t wait to give it a read.
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