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Comic Book / Birthright

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"When the adventure is over... The Hero's Journey begins."

Michael Rhodes was just a normal kid, when during his birthday, he mysteriously disappears without a trace while playing with his father in the woods. His disappearance deals a tragic blow that tears his family apart, specially when his father is suspected of having murdered him. One year later, they are still coping with Mikey's loss until he reappears just as mysteriously as he had vanished in the first place, but radically changed as he is now an hulking, fully grown, battle-worn warrior. As its turns out, he was transported to the fantasy world of Terrenos, where he was revealed to be The Chosen One destined to free it from the tyrannical grasp of God-King Lore. He supposedly defeated the tyrant and restored peace to Terrenos, but his servants had escaped to Earth and now plan to merge the two worlds. He returned home to warn his people of this evil but, when nobody believes him, he's forced to take matters into his own hands and becomes a fugitive of the law, with his father Aaron and brother Brennan following him. Things, however, don't really turn out to be what they seem, and there is more to Mikey than he lets out to be: in reality, he had betrayed his allies and sided with Lore to come back home and the war criminals are in fact heroes from Terrenos trying to protect Earth from their world's tyrant.

Birthright is a comic series by Image Comics written by Joshua Williamson with art provided by Andrei Bressan and colors by Adriano Lucas, not only focusing on Mikey's attempts at re-connecting with his family but also serving as a desconstruction for the typical story of the Kid Hero Trapped in Another World and destined to defeat the Big Bad and the subject of prophecies in general.

If you are looking for the similarly titled Superman comic, see Superman: Birthright. Also not related to the tabletop game of the same name, nor with the sequel of Albedo: Erma Felna EDF, named Birthright.

This comics provides examples of:

  • Action Survivor: With the exception of Mikey and Sameal, the Rhodes family as a whole becomes this over the course of the story. Brennan, Aaron and Wendy lack any martial training, experience or superpowers granted due to being Lore's host, but they are able to use some quick thinking and chance to overcome the odds. Eventually Brennan is revealed to be a mage, making only his parents the actual examples of this trope.
  • Arrested for Heroism: In Issue #35, Mikey delivers himself to the authorities in order to help save a comatose Brennan and hand over Kallista to be locked up. In the very next issue, he has been severely restrained and interrogated by government agents. He might have saved the day, but he is still a wanted fugitive and as far as the authorities are concerned, a terrorist that killed several cops (it was actually Kylen who killed them to pin the blame on Mikey).
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: When Rya and Mikey finally reunite, despite Mikey's betrayal and Rya's vow to kill him for it, they react exactly like a deeply-in-love married couple who have been apart for a year.
  • Barbarian Hero: Post-Terrenos Mikey visually resembles this trope being massively built, bearded, wielding impressive weapons and the like, one police officer goes as far as to call him "Conan". In practice... He is more complicated.
  • Barrier Maiden: The "war criminals" that Mikey is chasing on Earth are actually keeping the barriers between this world and Terrenos. Lore wants Mikey to kill them so he can successfully merge both worlds. With each of their deaths, the barrier spell becomes weaker by the second and Lore's presence becomes more imminent. By the time three of them are dead, the barrier spell is weak enough to allow his minions to invade Earth and prepare a full-blown invasion.
  • Because Destiny Says So: Mickey's mentor Rook believes it wholeheartedly. The rest of Terrenos disagrees, thinking that prophecies have no business in warfare and later proven, being completely unreliable.
  • Big Bad: God-King Lore. Unusually for this trope, he serves as the main protagonist's boss.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Mikey will not have anyone threaten his brother Brennan if he can help it. Amusingly, he is technically the younger brother when he vanished, but due to how time flows faster in Terrenos, he is an adult on Earth and much older than Brennan.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Sameal rescues Mikey, Brennan and Aaron from a SWAT team in Issue 15. He is revealed to be Grandpa Rhodes.
  • Black-and-Grey Morality: In one hand, you have a monstrous Evil Overlord who turned his world into a hellish landscape to oppress and corrupt it as he sees fit, and has set his sights on Earth and other worlds, with the main protagonist serving his will. Against him, there are the circle of mages on Earth trying to preserve the barriers and keep Lore out, but they won't hesitate to unleash cleansing spirits, murder innocent bystanders (sometimes for fun, even), or manipulate Mickey's loved ones to serve their ends. It's not helping that their motivations aren't entirely heroic or selfless: one of them states she'd rather abandon Terrenos to its fate and continue abusing her superpowers as wealthiest woman on Earth, and only wants to stop the Big Bad for personal reasons and her own survival, while another has gone from a Wide-Eyed Idealist to an Ax-Crazy maniac from the stress of living in another world while his home world was ravaged into Mordor.
    • Possibly transitions into Grey-and-Grey Morality because Lore is sick of the endless war and ruin plaguing his empire and wants a way out. Doesn't stop him from trying to Body Swap with a teenager so he can continue expanding his empire, but he DOES want to fix the inherent problems of all worlds.
  • Body Horror:
    • Mages can take forms appropriate for combat that can be twisted in horrific manners if they can control their power, specially in their magical awakening.
    • Possessions whether caused by Neverminds or Diviners can lead to similar results. The latter are more dangerous because it just doesn't affect the host, but the whole environment around them.
  • Broken Masquerade: After Mastema's hideout is razed, the existence of supernatural creatures is revealed to the world and it appears on the news.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Shouting the name of the spell appears to be an integral part of casting, judging by how many mage attacks invoke such.
  • Came Back Strong: After being fatally shot and cured by the Diviner, Brennan develops magic powers and becomes a powerful mage.
  • Captured on Purpose: Mikey's reveal at the end of #20 is that he's completely OK with being taken alive and tortured since it will get him into the most heavily fortified complex of the surviving mages. It works out, as he manages to kill another mage (Kylen, this time) and weaken the barrier enough to help Kallista tranverse into Earth.
  • The Chosen One: Mikey Rhodes was thought to have been a chosen hero that would destroy Lore and liberate Terrenos. It turns out to be a subversion not only because he failed his role and ended up siding with his enemy, but because he was never the chosen one in the first place - rather Lore himself was.
  • Covers Always Lie: Issue #25 shows Mastema fighting against Mike and Rya in the cover. She never comes close to trading blows with the two, instead she spends the whole issue fighting Lore's right-hand woman Kallista.
  • Co-Dragons: Lore has Mikey (his direct agent on Earth hunting after the Five Mages to ensure his invasion on his homeworld) and Kallista (who enforces his will in Terrenos and fights against the resistance). With Mikey now freed from his influence, Kallista can be considered the sole Dragon.
  • Conditioned to Accept Horror: Sameal's spirit smoke makes quick work of a police SWAT team but he deems it useless against people from Terrenos. Years of bloody, grotesque warfare have rendered everyone from that world immune to mundane fears.
  • Convicted by Public Opinion: While Mikey was in Terrenos, Aaron was accused of having murdered him because of the sketchy circumstances of his son's disappearance. Even Wands thought he was guilty.
  • Deal with the Devil: Lore can corrupt individuals into becoming their agents and extensions of his will by giving them power and turning them into Nevermind.
  • Death World: Terrenos is a very deadly place. A war-torn land populated by predators worse than anything found on Earth, and they are nothing compared to Lore's demonic minions.
  • Deconstruction:
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Agent Boomer is introduced as an member of a shadowy Earth agency sent to interrogate and murder magic-users. The targets counterattack with a full-on assault on said agency; for the rest of the series the agency generally and Boomer specifically are loyal allies.
  • Desecrating the Dead: Kallista is a big fan of this. She used the corpse of Kylen's wife on Terrenos to perform a spell allowing her to transport herself to Earth and using Kylen's corpse to reach the other side. She promptly possess his body to tear it apart and raise the remains as her undead minions.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Kylen immediately attacks Mastema after Michael told him that she is a traitor to Lore. He believes the words of an sworn enemy rather than his long standing ally rather than demand an explanation from her. The ensuing confusing ends up leading to Michael breaking free and killing Kylen, all because of the latter was too much of an hothead.
  • Dragon Ascendant: Subverted. After Lore is killed and his army retreats back to Terrenos, Kallista looks set to be the major threat left on Earth. She just hides out for a year and then kills herself as soon as Mikey finds her.
  • The Dreaded: Rook warns Mikey that in time he will be trained to fight and kill nearly everything, but should he ever encounter a Diviner, he must run.
  • Empowered Badass Normal: Boomer, a Badass Normal commando becomes infected with lycanthropy.
  • Enemy Within: Mikey has a Nevermind inhabiting his body. Its a evil spirit that serves as an extension of Lore's will, which causes pain when the host does something Lore doesn't want them to do, and when forcibly extracted from him, it's revealed to be have a very twisted physical similarity to the host.
  • Evil Mentor: Kallista desires to become one to Brennan, twisting him into her student.
  • Face Death with Dignity: In spite of his previous actions and behavior, Kylen has more grace in death than he did in life, not pleading when Mikey is about to kill him and telling him he understands why he would want to do it.
  • Fallen Hero:
    • Mikey was supposed to defeat Lore and release Terrenos from his tyranny, but instead made a deal with him to go back to Earth. Turns out he was never a prophecized hero and when he is finally freed from Lore's control, he stops being this trope and turns into The Atoner.
    • It's revealed that Lore also was considered the chosen one that would save Terrenos, but this trope gets played with when it turns out a trio of evil witches forced him to play "hero" by conquering all of Terrenos by force.
    • Mastema becomes one late into the series. As one of the original Five devoted to protect Earth, she deems Lore's invasion to be inevitable and begins to plot the destruction of both worlds to prevent it, effectively becoming worse than him.
  • Fan Disservice: We see Kallista in a Walking Swimsuit Scene in Issue #31 and she has an impressive amazon physique which is ruined by her sharp teeth and seductive behavior towards a teenage boy.
  • Fantasy World Map: A map of Terrenos was drawn by Mikey in-universe while he was a kid.
  • First-Episode Twist: The very first issue ends with the revelation that Mikey is actually serving God-King Lore himself and is working to bring about The End of the World as We Know It.
  • Forced Sleep: In Issue 26, Mikey is placed under magical sleep by Sameal and is taken to Scotland just so they could find a way to remove the Nevermind from his body without killing him.
  • Game Face: God King Lore has a form he uses in combat for maximum intimidation. Though rarely shown, he does shift to a more humanoid appearance during diplomatic negotiations. Which is "true" is up for debate.
  • Godzilla Threshold: In Terrenos, those desperate enough will summon a cleansing spirit known as the Diviner, which twists every single thing around it into abominations that will seek out and hunt Lore's agents. The result almost always razes all surrounding life and its deemed too horrific to use by Rook and his allies because the cost is too high and the effects are dangerous and unpredictable. Despite this, the actual diviner they encounter attempts to negotiate Mikey's surrender and heals Brennan as a goodwill gesture.
  • Good All Along: Turns out Mikey's plan all along was to kill the five mages on Earth so that Lore will personally come to Earth to oversee the invasion, because Lore is weaker and easier to kill on Earth.
  • Good Powers, Bad People: Kallista has stereotypically good nature-based powers. One of her favorite tactics is to make plants grow inside people and rip them apart.
  • Grand Theft Me: It's implied that Lore plans to do this to Brennan.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: It's revealed that Lore was pushed into his role as God-King by a trio of malevolent witches who murdered his parents and brought him into Earth as a child (much like Mikey was). These witches are no longer active by virtue of being held captive by the US government which has used them to study magic.
  • Here There Were Dragons: According to Sameal, magic used to exist on Earth despite what he told his fellow mages from Terrenos, but it went away due to unknown reasons.
  • Here We Go Again!: Teased at the end of the last issue. Mikey and Rya lose track of their daughter Mya while playing with her in the woods. Both of them become frantic as they recognize the similarity to what happened to Mikey. Fortunately averted at the very end when they find Mya.
  • Heroic Lineage: Its revealed that Mikey and Brennan's grandfather is one of the five mages that have set up a barrier between Earth and Terrenos, and Mikey's child with Rya is capable of trans-versing both worlds.
  • Hero of Another Story: Sameal's implied backstory is amazing: he was born away from Terrenos, developed mage powers strong enough to jump worlds, found his way there, became one of the top-ten mages in that world, joined the fight against God King Lore for years, then sealed Lore in Terrenos. If only he was a better hero.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: A recurring theme is that heroes who rise up to challenge Lore end up falling short either by becoming radicals themselves at best, or joining him out of despair at worse. This seems to have been the case with Lore himself after he defeated the great threat of his time.
  • Hopeless War: A common theme that drives the protagonists' actions is how utterly hopeless war against Lore has driven them to despair.
    • The Five pulled out from Terrenos and moved to Earth in the first place because no matter how many of Lore's monsters they destroyed, they were nowhere near hurting Lore himself (let alone managing to destroy him) and with each battle more and more innocents were killed in the crossfire.
    • Mikey's devastating defeat at Lore's hands was one of the reasons why he decided to strike up a deal with him to return home.
    • To drive things home, even the invincible evil overlord utterly failed to win the war (because he can't win the peace yet) and desperately wants a way out. He claims the only reason he's continuing this war is because "good" is obsessed with fighting "evil", summoning Destructive Saviours, AntiHeroes, Sociopathic Heroes, Villain Protagonists, and constant Senseless Sacrifice of populations and infrastructure, and his armies are the only thing keeping order in a world that would gleefully tear itself apart the moment its 'ultimate evil' vanished. And the icing on the cake? The conspirators who brainwashed Lore into conquering Terrenos for them have been enslaved and broken by the United States government for years, meaning Lore's win condition (give rulership of the Terrenos to the conspiracy) is impossible, and his conquest has been rendered completely pointless yet unsatisfyingly endless.
    • Then everything gets even worse when the barrier is destroyed and Lore invades Earth; the war between humans and Terrenos becomes a Curb-Stomp Battle in Lore's favor in less than seven days.
  • Hope Spot: The heroes try to talk Mastema out of wanting to destroy both worlds by instead reinforcing the barriers between them to prevent Lore from invading, requiring only five mages like before to pull the trick - Sameal, Mastema, Brennan, Mikey and Kallista (who pulled a Heel–Face Turn). Just as it seems Mastema agrees... She attacks them instead preferring to persist in her plan. Her betrayal forces Sameal to to kill her causing an explosion that takes him with her and unleashes Terrenos' invasion on Earth...
  • Imperiled in Pregnancy: Being heavily pregnant by the time she travels to Earth, Rya also risks being stuck in this world forever (since its her child that has the power to cross dimensions) and may not return home. She actually goes into labor when Kallista arrives to kill the last remaining mages and she is nearly caught in the crossfire, though she manages to deliver the baby and survive.
  • Invincible Villain: Deconstruction with Lore. Not only is he an extremely powerful mage, but he commands seemingly endless resources and armies that never seem to run out. Many heroes spent years fighting non-stop against him, but they never seem to make any progress - on the contrary, their fighting led to many innocents getting caught in the crossfire and making things worse. In the end, the ones that opposed him have either fled Terrenos or willingly sided with Lore to stop the carnage. And as it turns out, being an invincible villain also takes a toll on Lore himself, who also wants to stop the fighting so he can establish peace in this realm.
  • It Gets Easier: Mikey is absolutely horrified when he is forced to kill for the first time, but he can't afford not to, as he cannot possibly last on Terrenos and fate demands that he must bring down the God-King, so he must become a warrior whether he likes it or not. His adult self is most certainly not hesitant in killing.
  • It Sucks to Be the Chosen One: The pressure of his duty that he never wanted in the first place, the resentment from being taken away from his home and the horrors of the war ultimately pushes Mikey to perform a Face–Heel Turn.
  • Kaiju: Giant lizards several stories tall are among Lore's invasion forces.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • After successfully pacifying a bear that he and his brother disturbed upon entering into his space and baiting into thinking they are friendly, Mikey kills it by stabbing it in the head. Brennan is disgusted that his brother would do such thing after just proving they were no threat to the bear, but Mikey says that he did that just to protect him. Though he has a justification, it serves as a reminder to Brennan that Mikey isn't as heroic as he seems.
    • Kylen incinerates several police officers that failed to capture Mikey. Just like above, he tries to justify it to cover up their knowledge of magic, but his spiteful tone and gloating how their deaths will aid him by turning Mikey into a national-level terrorist makes it hard to believe it.
    • Her father secures a personal tutor for Mastema to learn magic, one who respects her teenage rebellion and offers understanding. Mastema slaughters her within seconds.
  • Knight Templar:
    • The Five will use any measure to preserve this world and stop Mikey from destroying the protective spell that threatened Terrenos, such as unleashing a Diviner on Earth and targeting Mikey's family (who are innocent and don't know about his true nature as Lore's agent). One of them, Kylen (who is masquerading as a government agent), goes as far as vaporizing a SWAT group to pin the blame on Mikey, and turn him into a national threat.
    • Ironically, their enemy Lore is one as well. Its said by Mastema that he wishes to impose order on the chaos in his world and across all others in existence as result of his personal brand of "justice".
  • La Résistance: A very loose one located in Terrenos against Lore's rule persists even after the Five's departure. They are very battered and nowhere near as close to ousting Lore as the mages were.
  • Light Is Not Good: The Diviner. Judging from their names and nature as "purifying" spirits, they are assumed to be benign... Except they are highly destructive and prone to causing more collateral damage than they are worth by possessing and twisting the environment around them until Lore's minions are annihilated. They are considered the most desperate kind of last resort.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Issue 15 reveals that Sameal, one of the mages that Mikey is hunting, is actually Aaron's father, therefore Mikey and Brennan's grandfather.
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": Everyone gets terrified in Issue #24 when the death of yet another mage weakens the barriers permitting invaders from Terrenos to arrive on Earth, the first one showing up is Kallista.
  • Mecha-Mooks: Mastema's army of golems was added to give Mikey an army to destroy; individually even Aaron can take them down.
  • Mirror Character:
    • Kallista to Mikey. Both lost family at a young age, fought alongside Rook for decades, and eventually joined Lore upon deciding that fighting him was only making things worse.
    • While circumstances of motives differ significantly, Mastema is revealed to be this to her father Lore, since they both want to establish an utopia via genocidal means - Lore wants to conquer all possible worlds so he can establish his idea of stability and order, while Mastema plots to have both Earth and Terrenos destroyed in hopes of containing Lore and re-creating a new world in her image. And just like him, her mind will not be swayed.
    • Lore and Mikey share a lot more in common than with each other when the former's backstory is revealed. Both were children that were taken from their respective homes (Mikey was native from Earth and Lore from Terrenos) and deposited on each other's. Because of their traumatic experiences, they developed deep hatred against the worlds where they were exiled to.
  • More than Mind Control: Lore can't force the Nevermind on anyone, it has to be received willingly. He convinced Mikey to take his by showing him how his family had fallen apart without him. Once it's actually inside a host it can't control their thoughts or actions, it can push them to greater extremes and subtly twist their minds, and it can punish you if you disobey orders, but if the host fights through the pain it has no way of forcing them to do something they don't want to do. When Mikey is freed of his he announces that he still plans to kill the two remaining mages, indicating that he truly has gone over to Lore of his own free will.
  • Morton's Fork: In Issue #40, the heroes are left with this dilemma when Mastema proves to be beyond reason. Either they allow her plan to run its course and have two entire worlds die so a new one controlled by her can be created, or kill her which will destroy the barrier and let Lore into Earth. Sameal picks the latter because at least this way, the survivors can at least fight off Lore.
  • Mysterious Past: Sameal was the only one of the five mages not born on Terrenos. It's implied he was born on Earth. How he developed his mage powers and got there is not explained.
  • Obliviously Evil: While they have no sense of collateral damage and tend to cause more damage than its worth, diviners are still spirits of good and the one summoned on Earth heals Brennan after he was fatally wounded, despite being there in the first place to kill his brother.
  • One-Winged Angel: When pressed in combat, God King Lore switches from his normal rotting-meat war form to add reptilian wings and a tentacled lower body.
  • Order Versus Chaos: Lore claims to represent order rather than evil, intending to end wars by uniting factions and slaughtering anyone who refuses to join.
  • Parental Substitute: Rook to Mikey (and a flock of Gideons).
  • Pregnant Badass: Rya, who is heavily-pregnant with Mikey's child, still manages to kick ass. It still is played realistically in that trying to fight is very physically straining for her and her child.
  • Red Right Hand: Anyone infected with a nevermind manifests grotesque deformity. The severity increases when they play toward the nevermind and decreases when they fight or ignore it.
  • Romantic False Lead: Shortly after arriving in Terrenos, Mikey gets introduced to a princess the prophecy says he will marry. Nevertheless, it is clear that Rya was his actual lover, and the princess isn't seen in any flashbacks after his first year in Terrenos. He apparently did marry her, but it turns out she doesn't love him and neither does he.
    • Given that the prophecy isn't actually about Mikey, the prophecy likely doesn't refer to her at all, but a different princess who may be Mastema's mother.
  • Screw Destiny: Played for Drama, when The Chosen One Mikey destined to bring down the Big Bad Lore decides to make a deal with him and become his agent instead to return home.
  • Supernaturally Young Parent: As a result of the time he spent on Terrenos, Mikey is a full-grown adult just like his parents Wendy and Aaron. Both of them are later shocked to discover Rya is carrying Mikey's child, making them Supernaturally Young Grandparents
  • Surprisingly Sudden Death: Rook manages to escape Lore's captivity in Issue #42 and tries to reunite with Mike and Rya. When he crosses the military base where they are located, the guards believe him to be one of Lore's soldiers since they can't tell the difference (especially as an invasion is taking place) and they gun him down.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: The Five seldom get along with each other and simply work together because of their united hatred for Lore. Enoch reveals that the only one he regarded as a friend was Sameal.
  • Time-Compression Montage: A series of shots during one of Rya's flashbacks shows Mikey growing from a scared little kid, to a cocky young warrior, to a straight-backed hero, to a weary veteran.
  • Token Heroic Orc: Rook. There were others but Lore killed them.
  • Took a Level in Badass:
    • Mikey was just a small child when he was taken to Terrenos, when he comes back home, he is a massive, muscle-bound warrior armed to the teeth who takes down police officers and FBI agents like they are absolute pushovers. Some Training from Hell and and becoming a host to a malevolent entity will do that to you.
    • Brennan spends a rough month or so with Kallista and comes back with world-class mage potential unlocked.
  • Trapped in Villainy: Because he is the host to the Nevermind (a parasitic spirit), Mikey has no choice but do Lore's bidding even though he doesn't want the Earth to be destroyed and all he wanted was to be reunited with his family. The Nevermind will torture him and cause him great pain if he doesn't oblige and trying to remove it will eventually kill Mikey. He is eventually freed, but at cost of Rya's wings.
  • Traumatic Superpower Awakening: Magic can be strengthened through pain, specifically psychological pain. As a child, Mikey underwent magic training by trying to remember pain and Brennan is able to learn his full potential by being prodded by Kallista with resentment over Mikey.
  • The Unchosen One: Since the prophecy regarding Lore is revealed to be bogus and Mikey was never the chosen one as believed by the resistance, his loved ones are now encouraging him to continue fighting against Lore because nobody else will.
  • The Unmasqued World: In Issue 26, the Five and their secrets have already spilled out into the public with one person seeing the news about a dragon from Sameal's hideout free. Rya notes that Earth is starting to catch up in magic to Terrenos. By Issue 41, Terrenos has began a fullblown invasion of Earth with the military fighting a quasi-Hopeless War against magical abominations.
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: When Mikey reveals his gambit to Rya, it's by whispering in her ear so quiet the speech bubbles can only show a scribble.
  • Villain Protagonist: Mikey since he is working with God-King Lore to merge Earth with Terrenos, though most characters aren't aware of it initially.
  • War Is Hell: The war on Terrenos is an effective stalemate between Lore and its resistance with neither side being able to make substantial gains (though fortune favors the rebels less). The heroes become super zealous to the point they don't hesitate to execute innocents while Lore is exhausted by the war effort himself.
  • Wham Line:
    • Issue #6 drops this bombshell.
    • Issue #15 drops a new one
    Sameal (reveals his true form to Mikey and Brennan): Because it's my fault you are in this mess to begin with.
    Aaron: Dad?
    • Issue #20 has another:
    Rya: (About God-King Lore) How... How do you know all of this?
    Mastema: Because... Lore is my father
    • Issue #29 ends with a Priest of the Mind's Eye revealing how to get rid of the Nevermind:
    Priest: The infection in your grandson's mind is deep. The only way to free his mind from the evil that has allowed to take hold is with a sacrifice.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Issue #20 was designed by the creators to be the biggest whammer as noted in the credits since they were taking a temporary break and aimed to drop as many bombshells as they could: Sameal is forced to kill Enoch to protect Aaron, now two out of the five mages protecting Earth from Lore are dead and the barriers between worlds is further weakening; Mikey is seemingly captured by Kylen though it's revealed he allowed himself to be taken prisoner so he could have the chance to kill two more mages in one stroke; Mastema reveals that the prophecy is false and Mikey is not The Chosen One, but rather Lore himself who has already saved Terrenos, but turned into an ruthless tyrant, and she knows all of this because she is his daughter.
    • Issue #24 ends with the Rhodes family being reunited for the first time since the beginning of the comic including Grandpa and Rya, Mikey murdering Kylen leaving now only two out of the five alive, and the barriers weakening enough for beings from Terrenos to cross over into Earth — the first one to confront the heroes being Kallista the Pale Rider. And to make matters even worse, Rya is going into labor right there in the middle of an imminent invasion. The next chapter continues the trend with Rya giving birth to her child in the middle of the battlefield, Mastema going missing in action and Kallista kidnapping Brennan to an unknown location. To make matters worse, Mikey's family has pretty much disowned him for his actions and forbid him from getting near his newborn daughter.
    • Issue #40. The last surviving members of the Five die and Lore's invasion of Earth begins.
  • Wham Shot:
    • The first issue ended with Mikey being possessed with a Nevermind spirit, revealing that he is not a hero who defeated Lore, but he is actually working for him.
    • Issue #20 shows us God-King Lore's true form. A tall, strong, heroic-looking man with a sword who looks just like Mikey.
    • Issue #41 reveals the heroes' secret weapon against Lore: the trio of witches responsible for turning him into what he is, that are revealed to have been captured by the US government to research magic.
  • Winged Humanoid: The Gideon are a race of human-like beings from Terrenos that oppose Lore's rule. Mikey's protector (and love interest) Rya is one of them.
  • Worf Had the Flu: Mikey is surrounded by a large SWAT force and puts up an impressive fight against them, but because he was already weakened by his fight with Sameal, he ends up being overwhelmed.
  • Year Inside, Hour Outside:
    • Many years take place in Terrenos, enough for Mikey to age from a teenager to adulthood, while only a year passes on Earth.