The time came for me to look at old saved links for online reader copies. And one that I had been wanting to read, but the time was never really right, was Fantasy Sports V01: Court of Souls. I figured that the Sam Bosma graphic novel might be a Space Jam of sorts. (Not that I have seen Space Jam one or two, but what I figure it was like) and it was nothing like that. Things were if The Mummy meets Indiana Jones meets Space Jam meets meets Stargate…. And yet, it is nothing like any of them (except there is a mummy).
We have a start that is simple and familiar enough. An intern wants their assignment changed, the man she interns for is more than happy to let her go. However, the leader of the mages says, “Y’all are stuck together. Work it out.” And off they go. We have the Adult Warrior who clubs first, knife first, swords first, hits first, smashes first then repeats. And of course, Mug (that’s his name) looks the part of a big barbarian dummy. Whereas Wiz-Kid (I guess that’s her name, oh by the way, she has a non-gender look to them), is small, a kid and knows the magic, likes to use her head, and is mostly smart. And of course, the idea is “work together” and “use your differences to help and not hinder each other.” And that comes to play when they challenge the ancient Mummy God/Pharah to an ancient law battle. And the Mummy King picks basketball.
And the art is crowded, busy, with little unique imagery (lots of skeletons, big old Mummy who looks like an oversized Will Smith in the Fresh Prince era) and trash talk. Nothing new, but it could be fun. The art just was a bit off for me. The concept of this story is good, but the art was gratuitously shocking for shocking sake (the Mummy looks like a cross between Bane and the bad Jekyll/Hyde in League of Extraordinary Gentlemen movie version when he goes “evil”) and did little to move the story along. Otherwise, the theme of using your strengths and working together was smart, exciting and the fantasy element mixed with basketball is a clever twist.
As said, I read via a reader copy online (however, my link was an older version), but the book is available. And volume 2, The Bandit of Barbel Bay is due April 2024.