Mythica! Hercules and Xena for the New Generation

Mythica A Quest for Heroes

Greetings, nerds! Axey here, popping above-ground once again in order to yammer about something very cool indeed.

And by “cool” I mean an “if you considered Dungeons & Dragons or Xena: Warrior Princess awesome then you’re alright by me” kind of cool. It’s my kind of cool.

I’m talking Mythica: A Quest for Heroes. Arrowstorm Entertainment, purveyors of shoestring-budget fantasy (The Christmas Dragon, Orc Wars), may have stumbled onto a veritable treasure trove of talent, and they’re really showing it off with this Mythica trilogy (Mythica: The Darkspore and Mythica: The Necromancer are in post-production and due for future release).

Mythica: A Quest for Heroes flies its geek flag proudly; it’s nine times the Dungeons & Dragons story the Dungeons & Dragons movie ever was (though I realize that’s not saying much), and it speaks not just to the tabletop nerd but to the online MMORPG player as well; the adventuring team in this story is a balanced (yet decidedly unbalanced) four-person dungeon hit squad consisting of Tank, Healer, and two DPS damage-slingers.

The cast is excellent—the “core four” especially. Nicola Posener (House of Anubis, Casualty) inhabits her priestess Teela with just the right amount of holy aloofness which slowly cracks to reveal a growing desperation beneath her ice-princess veneer. Adam Johnson (Un-Natural Selection, Dexter) plays grimy warrior Thane with a Sean Bean-level of world-weariness and grit, and Jake Stormoen (My Gimpy Life, Zombie Break Room) charms as the we’re-not-sure-if-you’re-with-us-or-against-us thief, Dagen. (His introduction to the story is freakin’ priceless. Trust me.)

But the true hidden gem is the film’s protagonist, Marek, played with verve by virtual newcomer Melanie Stone (The Christmas Dragon). Stone is a revelation, able to show layers of depth beneath an exterior that is one part pluck, another part dogged determination. Marek’s stubbornness in the face of oft-insane odds is one of Mythica‘s draw—and that’s even before we start seeing some rather disturbing clues regarding Marek’s mysterious past and dark powers.

And that’s part of what’s so refreshing about this new wave of Arrowstorm entertainment. This thing is feminism-friendly—not only breaking down walls with a female writer/director (the deft Anne K. Black), but featuring a physically disabled (Marek has a club foot) (sexy!) female protagonist who is forced to deal with her disability in a decidedly grim setting. In this world, women are expected to give as good as the men—and they do, in spades.

(I’d make the analogy that the women of Mythica are the princesses that ride out on quests to rescue captured princes from hordes of ravaging orcs, but in this world they seem as likely to wipe out the princes and orcs with one terrifyingly misplaced spell. Magic, in this realm, has its consequences. It’s bloody and real.)

Arrowstorm Entertainment clearly understands and respects its roots. This isn’t just tugged-heartstrings-and-a-wink fantasy entertainment in the vein of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess—in fact they embrace the traditions, even going so far as to have Hercules himself, Kevin Sorbo playing the role of Gojun, a wandering mystic who plays part-time mentor to Marek. Any Sorb is good Sorb!

Mythica: A Quest for Heroes can actually be purchased at Arrowstorm’s website, but my hope is that it’s actually picked up for serial distribution (yo, SyFy, Netflix, are you listening?) and launches a series. The three films act as the perfect springboard to serial adventures, all of which I would kill to see.

It has to find purchase somewhere. Sending out the clarion call! For the love of Marek’s gimpy foot, someone get Mythica onto my telly!

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