What could be better about a medieval romance comic centered on an all-female order of knights? Not much, to be honest! The Order of Belfry by Barbara Perez Marquez and MJ Barros follows Princess Idina Rotvel, who is sent to live at Belfry Castle after she attempts to rescue her captured brother on her own. Upon arrival, she’s immediately met with a test that she passes with flying colors, even though she doesn’t know she’s taking it until after it’s done.
From the jump, this comic is gay as hell. The creators joke in an early Q&A that everyone in The Order of Belfry is dating, which feels like an invitation to create fan works based on this incredible story (catch me writing fic over the holiday break). Rather than relying on subtext and queer-baiting, though, Perez Marquez and Barros are upfront about the fact that this is a comic about women who love women, set in medieval times. It’s in the official synopsis (below), as well as the promotional art; the first time we see two women kiss is in chapter two.
A female knights and girls love comic, yeah you read that right! If you are into knighthood and the pursuit of love and honor, then this is the place for you. The comic follows the development of war between two kingdoms through the eyes of an all-female knight order.
Reading about these women flirting and fighting and falling for each other is such an incredible joy. Ostensibly, the overarching plot of this comic is the ongoing war between two kingdoms, which is thrilling — don’t get me wrong. There’s plenty of heart-pounding action. But I went into this comic wanting a fairytale romance that wasn’t straight, and I’m so pleased at how much The Order of Belfry delivers. There’s also a romance between two men, and some sweet moments with an unexpected, but loving (and perfect) polycule.
After a two-year hiatus, this comic returned over the summer, with new art and an increase in romantic content which is, as you might have guessed, exactly my jam. The art and colors are fantastic and the writing is as sharp as these ladies’ blades. The Order of Belfry surprises and delights at every turn, and it’s such a good feeling to see it back in action.
The Order of Belfry updates Thursdays on Tumblr and Tapas. You can check out extras here or support the comic on Patreon to help it stay alive. You can also follow Barbara Perez Marquez on Twitter @mustachebabs, and you can follow MJ Barros on Twitter @mjbarrosm.