Dark Horse Comics 2015
Written by Brian Wood
Illustrated by Andrea Mutti
Coloured by Jordie Bellaire
IN THE AFTERMATH OF THE DARING RAID ON LAKE CHAMPLAIN, SETH REMEMBERS A FORMIDABLE ENEMY FROM HIS YOUTH: NOT A COLUMN OF BRITISH SOLDIERS, BUT THE WILDERNESS ITSELF.
I love stories based on history and that’s a fictional account is wonderfully portrayed in that these are people who have existed but their behavior and their reasons for their actions are reasonable. Their histories are being fleshed out as best as possible like a history detective using what knowledge we have to fill in the possible gaps. I think Brian has done an amazing job taking a world we don’t know enough about and giving us this view of it that’s interesting, fascinating and rooted in the country's history.
Between seeing Seth’s past as a little boy intertwined with what his wife Mercy is doing while he is away is kind of being paralleled with each other showing how much alike they both really are and it also goes a long way to showing how this life is affecting them both in such different ways. They may be in love but this is a difficult time in the country's history and the sacrifices they are forced, well chosen through force if you will, make seem to be taking it’s toll on their relationship. This really could have been a classic love story if Seth were able to stay and spend time with Mercy but that isn’t in the cards.
I like the way that when Seth returns home he has company waiting for him and without even so much as ado he’s conscripted into taking on another mission. It’s this type of writing and characterization that defines these people and what they hope for in regards to a better life but it comes down to is the cost worth it. With what we learn in this issue really hits home with the struggle these people are having not only with trying free themselves from England’s tyranny but also struggling to live and love life to it’s fullest and both seem to be heavily at odds with one another.
Andrea and Jordie really do a magnificent job with the interiors. They manage to show the reader both hope and misery through what they bring to the page. I’m very impressed with the way that the scenes in a frozen Poland are so white and pristinely beautiful but also deadly are in stark contrast to the darkness of the colonial nights we see our characters in most often. Heck even the daytime scenes where Seth comes home and that discussion around the tables occurs shows a darkness that’s inherent in their lives in this time period.
This is powerful, strong and gripping story as see the lives of those who least represented in the nation's history. While based on true events and fictionalized by Brian it still has this ring of truth or that it’s possible that this is how things went down. It’s really a great read and it showcases these folks talents in ways that remind us why we are their fans.