World Comic Book Review

12th April 2024

Wren #1-3 (review)

A story both timely and timeless.

Creator: Peter Taylor

Independent, 2021-2022

Every once in awhile, the timing of a story’s release can be just as important as it’s contents. Such is the case with Wren by Peter Taylor. Here is the promotional copy from the Kickstart website:

Wren is a thrilling historical fantasy story that’s “Restoration” meets “Outlander”. Set in 17th Century London, Wren asks the question, “What if the great fire of London was no accident?”

In (penultimate) Issue#3 of the acclaimed first arc, we finally reach the day of the ‘Great Fire’ itself! As dawn breaks, London awakes and our story careens towards its climax across two storylines. Lost beneath the city, a young family race for safety only to discover an awful secret. Meanwhile, above ground, Wren’s cynical plan is finally unveiled in its full horror, which see’s him captured and imprisoned for his atrocities. Incredibly, Wren’s arrogance almost sees him walk free with the King’s blessing – until the storylines converge and King Charles himself gets trapped in the inferno as London’s greatest landmark falls!

While the tale of historical fiction would be powerful and well told, whenever it might emerge, being a tale exploring the disastrous bubonic plague’s reemergence in 17th century London, coming out during a global pandemic allows the story to hit home on a deeper level for readers watching the present unfold in a manner not too dissimilar to the story in their hands or on their screens.

The story of Wren is primarily focused around reexamining The Great Fire of London in 1666 from the angle that it was a planned event set up in order to contain the spread of the reemerged bubonic plague. The plan is depicted as a desperate move by a royal scientist with no other options because the people in charge won’t listen to him about fleas on rats being the true cause of the malady.

The artwork has the raw feel of a fresh artist new to the craft, with vibrant colors and energetic lines. Meanwhile the writing has the intensity of a tale that’s been waiting to be told for a long time.

So far three issues are available with a fourth soon on the way. Readers looking for a good historical drama will find plenty to satisfy here.

[Editor’s note: Wren #1-3 is available on Kickstarter – ]