SCALES AND SCOUNDRELS #7 brings an incredibly satisfying end to the Dragon's Maw arc with some really good themes. The writing and art remain consistently good and reach new heights.
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The final arc of the Dragon’s Maw is here and it delivers in spades! SCALES AND SCOUNDRELS #7 answers the biggest questions that were raised in the first issue. What exactly is the demon that Dorma defeated in the previous issue? How does this “adventure of a lifetime” change Luvander? Does she find any treasure? What is the meaning of Luvander’s dream from the first issue? Akisbjorne and the reader are left searching for answers and explanations about Luvander’s mysterious Urden roots.

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 What Remains of Luvander and Akisbjorne

Miraculously, Luvander survives the fall with Prince Akisbjorne. How is that even possible, you ask? Well, Luvander resorts to some improvisation that helps break the fall. Also, the bounty hunter is still pursuing Luvander for unknown reasons. This issue explores Dened Lewen’s final level that houses a big secret. In fact, Luvander seeks not only treasure in Dened Lewen, she also wants to learn more about dragons. Meanwhile, Akisbjorne tries to make sense of Luvander’s secret as Akisbjorne struggles to process it.



Image courtesy of Image Comics

In this issue, Girner and Galaad’s DRAGONBALL influence is stronger than ever. Luvander is a Goku-like figure because she knows more than she lets on. As a result, this leads to some tense moments between Akisbjorne and Luvander. As an Urden, Luvander finds herself at odds with Askisbjorne who hears that dragons do not take kindly to humans. Throughout SCALES AND SCOUNDRELS #7, Girner explores the themes of what family means, the weight of power, and the importance of self-discovery.

The Dragon Among Us

With SCALES AND SCOUNDRELS #7, Girner shows how far Luvander has come since the first issue. Luvander was naive and care-free in the first issue before she meets Akisbjorne and company. Here, Luvander is mature and comes to terms with the power that she holds. However, the key that keeps this immense power in check is Akisbjorne, who reminds Luvander of the humanity that she possesses. If left unchecked, Urdens lose control of themselves, Girner teases this numerous times throughout the Dragon’s Maw arc. As a result of this power, we see this loss of control come full circle. Luvander finally faces off against the bounty hunter that has pursued her to the depths.

Image courtesy of Image Comics

Suffice to say, SCALES AND SCOUNDRELS #7 features a nice payoff as Girner sets up for future adventures. To spoil anything specific would be a disservice to loyal readers. However, it’s nice to see Luvander, Dorma, Akisbjorne, and Koro get some wardrobe changes. For instance, Luvander and Akisbjorne remove their jackets because it’s too hot in the pit. While the wardrobe change is not as drastic as Dorma’s ponytail in the previous issue, it’s one of the series’ biggest strengths.


Galaad Takes A Page From PACIFIC RIM

Galaad’s monster showcase gets dialed up to 11 in this issue. Galaad unleashes an epic battle that takes a page out of giant monster films. The battle is an intense ballet that Galaad illustrates beautifully and accents with chaotic panels. To say more spoils the gravity of the situation, but it’s incredible. Jeff Powell‘s letters hit a new high note in this battle. Suffice to say, readers familiar with DRAGON BALL Z’s great ape battles will get a kick out of this issue.

Image courtesy of Image Comics

Once again, Galaad shows that his art has come a long way from the first issue. At the start, Galaad’s inks are rough and the characters look stylized. In contrast, Galaad’s inks are confident in this issue and characters have a more anime style. As the issues progress, the one thing that stays consistent is Galaad’s watercolor palette that reinforces the adventurous tone. Also, expressiveness, such as shown in characters like Dorma and Koro, is something that Galaaad continues to refine over time.

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Closing Thoughts on SCALES AND SCOUNDRELS #7

With the closing of the series’ first arc, Girner and Galaad cement themselves as two of Image Comics’ creators worth watching. SCALES AND SCOUNDRELS #7 fires on all cylinders and delivers a satisfying conclusion that sets up for future adventures. In fact, it’s fascinating that S&S exists in the same plane as MONSTRESS, a complete opposite of this series. Hopefully, the same momentum that SCALES AND SCOUNDRELS #7 builds keeps up in the next arc.

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SCALES AND SCOUNDRELS #7 releases on March 7th. 

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