Source Point Press 2021
Written by Bob Salley & Christina Blanch
Illustrated by Stan Yak
Pencil Roughs/Layouts by Mike Lilly
Flashback Sequence Art by Ken Perry
Coloured by Robert Nugent
Lettered by Justin Birch
Prescott and his men seek out the widow of their fallen brother-in-arms as they find her fighting to keep her farmland, while Manco teams up with an ageing US Marshall on her last assignment to capture Ben and the other escaped convicts.
The first arc was done by fewer folks and it was as equally as good as this one and it makes me wonder why this one needed so many different people to be involved in bringing it to life? The opening here shows us that the 117th weren't’ the only ones shafted if the US Marshall is any indication. Still that Manco meets up with her and
to either one they are after more than one person in common. It is a nice “coincidence”, and I don’t believe in coincidences so there’s that, that they should meet after Manco was left in the middle of nowhere by his former unit. The second opening here shows us that race relations never seem to change as Ben relates his own story. The sad thing is that regardless that this is something of a steampunk adventure some things never seem to change and Ben’s story is all to believable and relatable to.
I like the way that this is being told. The story & plot development that we see through how the sequence of events unfold as well as how the reader learns information is presented extremely well. The character development we see through the dialogue, the character interaction and how they act and react to the situations and circumstances that they encounter are magnificently rendered. The pacing is superb and as it takes us through the pages revealing more and more of the story we see things start to come together even more.
I greatly appreciate the way that this is being structured and how the layers within continue to grow, strengthen and new emerge depending on what avenues are opened up to explore. The layers contain some of the stronger characterisation, the meeting of new characters as well as the background information where they were surgically altered. These layers whether they enhance the main arc or simply swirl around it bring in some extra depth and complexity to the story. How we see everything working together to create the story’s ebb & flow as well as how it moves the story forward is fantastically achieved.
The interiors here are fantastic! How we see the linework with its varying weights being utilised to create the detail work is incredibly well rendered. I will say that the flashback sequence in its own version of black & white is incredible to see and it almost makes me wish the entire book was done in this manner. How we see backgrounds being utilised to not only enhance the moments but work within the composition of the panels to bring out the depth perception, sense fo scale and the overall sense of size and scope to the book is marvellous. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show some wonderfully talented eyes for storytelling. The colour work is equally as brilliant. The various hues and tones within the colours being utilised to create the shading, highlights and shadow work show a sensational eye for how colour works.
I really like this series. The idea behind it is phenomenal and how we see the 117th Infantry Regiment as they travel doing what needs doing, in this issue this includes visiting the widow of their fallen comrade. I like that these folks have formed something of a family, the Regiment and those they’ve brought into the fold, and have each other to really rely upon and have their backs when its needed most. With some sensational writing and characterisation and absolutely delightful interiors take you on a journey that blends action, intrigue and drama in some beautiful ways.