In fantasy stories, human beings and faerie never get along. Humans are too fond of iron and not being tricked, and faerie are too fond of tricks. And, of course, there’s always somebody, be it a smart-ass wizard or a plucky young woman, stuck in the middle. Where Steve Orlando and Jakub Rebelka shake things up, though, is that Jordan, our hero, is stuck in the middle in more ways than one.
The basic premise is that every seven years, Earth overlaps with the magical realm of Ektae for seven days. Called The Blessing, it’s a week-long mix of New Year’s Eve and The Purge, and firefighter Jordan Molossus is usually smack in the middle of it, literally putting out fires. But, on the first day, he receives a package from the father he thought was dead: two iron urns, containing the ashes of each of his fathers. Yes, Jordan literally has two fathers, one of Earth and one of Ektae, and to piece together why he was abandoned, and just who his parents were, he’s going to have to explore his Ektaen side.
It’s a heck of a concept, and Orlando and Rebelka are up to the task. Rebelka is relentlessly imaginative, pulling from ’60s psychedelia and modern ideas alike, giving even the “mundane” an Art Deco look that feels fresh. Orlando’s script, meanwhile, is about identity. What does “gay” mean on a world where gender is quite literally fluid? It’s a fascinating idea that Orlando touches on lightly, and proves there’s a lot going on underneath a fantasy veneer.