Jason Connors writes:
Back in 2007, Buttonpress Publications released The Wren #1, with Jason Browne and Phil Roe heading the creative team. Flash forward 10 years, and the flagship comic is reaching its very own “Season 2” with the launch of The Wren #13 at Dublin Comic Con. Since it began, Wren has been joined on shelves and convention tables by three other titles, all illustrated by Jason Browne: Artos, Thimble, and Stoat.
The Wren #13 brings readers to a new age in hero Jack McCormack’s life. Schoolboy by day and fledgling hero by night, Jack is one of only a few surviving heroes in Hibernia. Soaring over the skies of Dubh-Lynn as the Wren, Jack has faced a lot in his short time as a superhero.
Since discovering his powers, the Wren has had to learn to fight in the moment. Originally imbued with both a super-punch and flight, the young hero is now left to deal with Hibernia’s villains with just his flight and his instincts to keep him safe, and get them into a jail cell. From ancient spirits to a wicked warlock, superpowered villains from across the sea, and a few locals with more power than morals, as well as a failed attempt to save the mother he never knew, it’s been a wild ride for Hibernia’s 12-year-old hero.
The second season of The Wren introduces readers to a host of new characters, with more than a few twists in #13 to fully disseminate each “season” of the long-running comic. The future of the series promises more from the creative mind of Browne, dealing with a long history of war and familial relations, secret heroes and foes more menacing than Jack has ever faced, all still within the all-ages boundaries that the comic has become famous for. He’s just lucky he still has his adopted father, David, to keep him in check.
As well as story changes affecting the future of the Buttonpress comics, over the years Browne has introduced new creators to his audience. Mike Lynch worked as Artos’s first writer, with Aaron Fever taking over the role from issue #3. Thimble launched with Sarah Roe taking to the keyboard, cementing the family-centric ideals of the comics in place with an impressive first issue. Likewise, Stoat launched with prolific writer Ciarán Marcantonio writing the script. Now in its 13th issue, Wren is introducing Paul Carroll to the creative team, who previously worked with Buttonpress on Tomte: The Warrior Elf in December 2016.
With so many writers now working on the evolving stories in Hibernia, Browne now resides as creative editor and illustrator of one of Irish comics’ largest series of books, with a host of characters so large that they demanded their own website.
With Dublin Comic Con just around the corner, and full-colour updates coming to the earlier issues of Wren’s collected volumes, there isn’t long to wait before readers get to see exactly how much has changed, and to get a hint of the new challenges in store for Hibernia’s youngest hero.
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