cover image The Children of Bathala: A Mythology Class Reunion

The Children of Bathala: A Mythology Class Reunion

Arnold Arre. Tuttle, $16.99 trade paper (208p) ISBN 978-0-8048-5543-3

In Arre’s heartfelt sequel to the seminal Filipino graphic novel The Mythology Class, once close-knit friends have learned that heroism doesn’t necessarily end in glory. Two decades after their fantastic adventure as college students, they’ve crashed down in the mundane. Nicole, whose knowledge of Philippine folklore guided the group, is struggling to get her anthropological research taken seriously. Her husband, Kubin, a legendary warrior from another realm, is growing weaker while their daughter grows distant. Lane, the burgeoning psychic, has lost her clairvoyant powers. The spitfire Misha left the country, and her ex-fiancé has spent years tracking her down. All of the group struggle with recurring nightmares of the supernatural creatures they once battled, and with frustration about the rules that Nicole put in place about how to use the reward they won. When a new danger threatens, they must work together once again while also battling anger and mistrust. Arre sensitively depicts the disillusionment that comes when realities of work, grief, and failed relationships shatter youthful aspirations. But as the ensemble renew their faith in friendship and learn to protect rather than fight, they mend broken bonds. Arre’s artwork also has matured, with smooth lines and expressions that convey a wealth of emotion. This grown-up adventure ends on a cliffhanger, but even as readers await the next plot point, the interior journeys of the characters make this volume a fulfilling standalone read. Fans of Arre will certainly want to catch up with this class, and will cross fingers for a future volume. (Mar.)