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Crossroads Comics #153 – PMD: Adventures In Viraska

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

This week, as promised, we’re taking another look at PMD: Adventures In Viraska. This is a comic that we’ve actually review once before, way back in issue #88. This issue is pretty notable not just because it features this comic, but also because it was also the issue released the day Smackjeeves had its infamous update, causing me a huge headache as I scrambled to relink all the comics that I could, haha. Ultimately, this column would be the last one to feature a “Smackjeeves Comics” section, as the following issue would feature its replacement, the “ComicFury Comics” section. And the rest is history. Needless to say, a lot has changed since we last took a look at this comic. Roughly a year and a half has passed, with a pandemic and an election in between. Smackjeeves has fallen, ComicFury, Deviantart, and Tumblr have become revitalized comic scenes, and while many comics didn’t survive the jump from Smackjeeves to other sites, others thrived in it, and new comics have arisen to fill the space left behind. PMD: Adventures In Viraska is no exception either. After a long year and a half, a large chunk of which consisted of reuploading the enormous backlog this comic had amassed over its then six year run, PMD: Adventures In Viraska finally reached its epic conclusion. So now, to honor the comic’s conclusion, we’ll take one last look at the story, the art, and more, to analyze what made this comic such an enjoyable read over its seven year run.

PMD: Adventures In Viraska is a rather interesting story from the onset because it follows two protagonists: Stanley the Froakie and Leif the Snivy. For Stanley, he and his team are taking a vacation in Viraska, when all but one of his teammates disappear. It’s up to him to track them all and get the band back together. Meanwhile, Leif is currently being pursued by a group of mysterious evil Pokémon who will stop at nothing to get his flute for their dastardly plans. Will they succeed? Only time will tell. This story takes us all over the land of Viraska and it’s actually rather interesting to see since we meet the families of several different characters along the way, making the world feel a lot more lively as a result. It was a really neat story to follow with a very interesting conclusion, but I’ll get more into that later.

Before we dive into spoilers, I want to take a moment to talk about the artistic improvement we see throughout the comic. PMD: Adventures In Viraska shows a great deal of improvement throughout its run, both from a writing and also artistic standpoint. While the author’s style remains consistent, you can see over time as you binge the comic, especially with the battle choreography. I covered this in my previous review but the author also runs another comic called Clash of Poke-Characters, which they use to practice fight scenes using their and other people’s OCs! And this definitely pays off, as in the later chapters you really start to see Searingblight getting a better sense of pacing and framing for the fights in the story. Overall, just a great deal of improvement that I feel like should be applauded.

Spoilers Ahead

A lot happens in PMD: Adventures In Viraska, so I won’t be able to cover it all, but the story itself is still very interesting. As the comic progresses, we eventually meet the main antagonist for the story: Trinon the Ninetales. Through manipulation and other tactics, Trinon seeks to obtain the Staff of Cedar in order to take over the world. However, when that doesn’t work out, Trinon tries a different tactic, using a necklace to summon the deadly Jimjam, aka a giant spider demon thing. This results in the final major battle of the story being against a giant spider, and it’s pretty darn funny.

PMD: Adventures In Viraska is in general a very silly story, which is part of what makes it very interesting. Earlier in the story, we learn Trinon needs the flute to get into Leif’s fault, where the Staff of Cedar is supposed to be, but once he gets in he discovers it’s been long since moved elsewhere, resulting in his quest having to change course in order to track it down. These goofy beats are great because it makes the story overall a lot more fun to experience. I remember when I initially binged the story back prior to the last review, I found myself laughing a lot because of a lot of the sillier beats. It’s just a lot of fun to read which is part of why I’d recommend it so highly.

Additionally though, the story does have its darker moments, such as Leif actually dying or the revelation that one of the major villains was only doing what she was told because her family was being held hostage. The story isn’t afraid to delve into those darker moments, which creates a unique balance, since it prevents the story from becoming too goofy overall, while also allowing it to not be too dark either.

The fighting sequences are also very good. While Chapter 11 is really the place where Searingblight starts to show noticeable improvement, chapter 12 is where that really gets solidified. The fight sequence between Trinon and Polly is extremely well done, with a lot of variety in the poses, attacks, and more. The fight is also set at a decent length too, to where it’s not too long or too short, something many comics can struggle with. So props to Searingblight for that. This sequence really shows off what all Searingblight learned while working on Clash of Poke-Characters.

Spoilers End

Overall, while things are a bit rough at the start, it’s definitely worth seeing through to the end, as the comic shows great improvement throughout its seven year run. It’s funny, charming, while also hitting on some darker beats along the way. It also just ended, as previously mentioned, so now is the perfect time to binge it. Though I gotta warn you, the ending is something you’ll never expect.

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

Crossroads Comics
PMD: Chanterelle They made it!
PMD: Crossroads Wonder what she’s up to.
PMD: Harmony What a nice piece.
PMD: Wildfire Sleepless nights are the worst.
Pokémon RP: Lost Island The humans are coming? Oh no!
Pokémon: Shadow of the Sun He looks worse for wear.
Pokémon X Adventures They made it!
Shinka: The Last Eevee Ziggy!
The Shaymin Café Happy Pride, everyone!

ComicFury Comics
Dear Sergio It’s a tough decision.
Obsidian Blaze There’s definitely something suspicious afoot.
PMD: Team Rowanberry Now’s her chance!
PMD: Tower of Glass Big oof.
PM: Tangled This could be going better.
Step by Step by Step Oh snap he dodged!
The Long Way Bada bing bada boom, first two down!
Vee! Cosmosbucks! Yay!

Deviantart Comics
Eclipse Apprentice He doesn’t seem pleased.
Kurukkoo! Sudden evolution!
Necromatic It’s back!
PMD: Keepers of Light I don’t like this idea.
PMD: On Borrowed Time Sentry duty isn’t the most glamorous job, but it’s important.
PMD: Turncoats Sly buddy…
Sundowner Yay new friends!
Wanted! – PMD Outlaws Glad to hear she’s okay, at least.

Off-site Comics
Ask Neon Tiger Poor Noa doesn’t deserve this!
Ask the Artist Sobble Just drawing, huh?
Ask the Isle Glowy… I know a place like that!
Ask the Traveller Their work isn’t done yet, it seems.
Asking Anorith Oh no! Spit that out!
Daily Ashleigh Raichu Oh I don’t like this…
Team Next-Gen Don’t mess with Leda, got it.
The Red Vaporeon At least he seems to be doing better.

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