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Crossroads Comics #139-Soul Brothers

It’s Tuesday which means it’s time for Crossroads Comics!

This week we’re taking a look at another recommendation: Soul Brothers by Gecko-Nuzlockes. Soul Brothers is a SoulSilver nuzlocke comic that follows Corey and his adoptive brother, Ty the Totodile, as they take on the Johto League Challenge! But after acquiring a mysterious egg, the duo begin to realize that this journey might end up being much more than they originally bargained for. Having just finished binging this comic, I can definitely say it’s setting itself up for a very epic climax which also doing an excellent job of handling tonal balance and serious topics, and I’ll be analyzing exactly how it achieves this over the course of the next few paragraphs.

One of Soul Brothers‘s strong suits is its ability to balance a comedic exterior with more serious undertones where needed. It handles a lot of serious topics with grace and dignity, while also knowing exactly when is a good time to crack jokes and take breaks so that the readers don’t get overwhelmed. This is something that’s a hallmark of good writing, since it shows that the author has knowledge of tonal balance, which Gecko-Nuzlockes definitely does. The comedy and lighthearted aspects of the comic as don’t seem forced in or contrived, as Gecko-Nuzlockes does well to ensure they come from interactions within the team itself, even when the team isn’t very large. The fact that many members of the team have such different personalities from each other, especially as the team grows in size, it makes for natural discussions to arise, both the comedic and serious kind. So I have to applaud the author for making use of this, since it allows for a natural fountain of exposition and character development.

Speaking of serious moments though, Soul Brothers addresses a lot of difficult topics with such grace that it is really one of the comic’s biggest selling points. Without going into spoilers, Soul Brothers tackles discussions of found family, equality, and the fight for survival. In a world where humans and Pokémon are considered equals, Soul Brothers isn’t afraid to shy away from the inherent discrimination that results from it on both sides of the spectrum. In fact, the first instance of discrimination comes from within the team itself, when one of the team members comments that Corey isn’t really needed to guide the team to victory in the League Challenge. And while this point of view comes across as a bit of a shock at first, in a way it makes sense where this would come from, given Pokémon have access to all sorts of magical powers that humans don’t. But Soul Brothers is quick to showcase that it isn’t just Pokémon who feel they are superior to humans, but that some humans feel superior to Pokémon too. They view them as “pets”, likely due to the outdated league model mentioned in the story in which humans actually did hold the commanding role over their Pokémon at the time. However, as Soul Brothers showcases, the current society has grown past that, so while many on both sides still hold inherent prejudices towards the other party, it also allows for families such as Corey and Ty’s to exist.

Soul Brothers also tackles the concept of found and adoptive families in a very natural manner that I really liked. Ty might be adopted, but it doesn’t make him any less Corey’s brother, and you can really see that through the tight bond that they share. Similarly, after their Togepi egg hatches, Ty and Corey are quick to share a similar dose of love even though the little Pokémon is adopted too. They even give an explanation that, despite not being Omelette’s birth parents, they’d still love him just the same. Not only is this just generally a very heartwarming dynamic to see, but also to have it handled both in a natural manner and as a matter of great importance later on is amazing. It not only normalizes themes such as adoption and found family, but also shows the importance of why they should be normalized, and once again that is just a hallmark of great writing skills on the author’s party.

Spoilers Ahead

Finally, we’ll discuss the build up to the climax of the story. Since Omelette’s introduction into the story, Soul Brothers has made it clear that this little Togepi is special, but exactly how remains a mystery to the readers. Nevertheless, the stakes around protecting and raising the young Pokémon continue to grow as the team is repeatedly attacked by Team Rocket with the goal of collecting Omelette. As of the current point in the story, the team has been ambushed three times (albeit one time wasn’t intentionally), and each time showed not only adaptation on the part of Team Rocket, but also gave the readers more reasons to fear their abilities. This is especially evident during the second ambush, in which several Pokémon were made to go feral due to some sort of experiment by Team Rocket. It appears that Omelette has some sort of role in these experiments, but exactly is unclear.

Still, the continual gradual rise in the stakes around Omelette’s origins and fate really lend themselves well to the comic’s story. I’m not sure exactly where the author intends to go with this, whether it be somehow connecting Omelette to Lugia or something else, it is clear that Omelette is special. I’m willing to bet that the big reveal surrounding just how Omelette is special will ultimately be one of the big climaxes of the story and I am very much looking forward to what exactly Gecko-Nuzlockes has in store for us.

Spoilers End

You can check out Soul Brothers on Deviantart. Also be sure to check out the author’s other comic, My Neighbor is a Dragon, which you can find on Webtoon and Deviantart.

Soul Brothers was recommended to me by Kristantyne (author of First Summer) and theNessiArtist (author of Autumn in Sinnoh), so I just wanted to go ahead and shout them out for the wonderful recommendation. I had a lot of fun reading through Soul Brothers over the last week, so I’d highly recommend checking it out.

And without further ado, let’s check out the rest of this week’s comic lineup!

Crossroads Comics
PMD: Chanterelle Wonder what that is.
PMD: Explorers of Life Operation defeat the baddies is a go!
PMD: Wildfire Into the portal we go!
Pokémon Rising Shadows Echo doesn’t look so good.
Pokémon: Shadow of the Sun That about sums it up, yeah.
Pokémon X Adventures Hit with a psychic blast! That’s gotta hurt!
Renegade’s Redemption End chapter.
Shinka: The Last Eevee This has got to be terrifying for Nick.

ComicFury Comics
Finding Balance Wonder what’s on Precious’ mind.
PMD: Another Perspective Not a note of humility from Purry.
PMD: Team Dream That’s not good!
Soul Food Reunited at least! Such a sweet sight.
Step by Step by Step Glad to see someone’s at least enthusiastic.
Sundowner Psychic type to the rescue!
The Caretaker “Why do I hear boss music?”
The Legend of Incineroar He did it!
The Rabbit Hole Hm… something’s weird about this.

Deviantart Comics
Autumn in Sinnoh Uh oh, uh oh, uh oh!
Explorers of Shadows Seems they’ve got a plan in the works. But will it succeed?
Hypoxia || A Pokemon SS Nuzlocke Don’t talk to the Dunsparse like that!
PMD: Adventures of Team Sunflower He’s been cornered!!
PMD: Hanging in the Balance Miku seems lost in some deep thoughts right now.
Pokémon Royal Having a psychic type (or future one at least) on the team will be useful for sure.
Prion This is a sticky situation for sure.
Simple Introductions exchanged!
Trick of the Night What does she smell?
When Little Emma Ran Away Merlin… what did you see?
Yet Another PMD Comic The Shadow Thief’s identity is-

Off-site Comics
Ask Another Clone Yeshua jumped on this opportunity to brag, haha.
Ask an Odd Pikachu Wonder what’s up with Lux.
Ask King Zamazenta Indulf has seen some things.
Ask Nayden You tell em, Fritz.
Ask the PokeVillains Ghetsis stop stabbing the TV!
Ask the Traveller Draco is such an interesting character.
Cain and Mabel Everyone likes pets!
Flake and Rudy Now who might this be?
Leilani-and-Kass Yes good get the child a teddy bear.

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