Boom! Studios 2017
Written by Ben Acker, Ben Blacker & Andrew Miller
Illustrated by Hannah Christenson
Coloured by Juan Useche
Lettered by Colin Bell
Alright after having read this I have to say that I rather liked the whole idea and premise behind this story. The way that this story opens I do like that we see what we do. A gang has ransacked a farm seemingly in the middle of nowhere leaving one survivor. A woman, mother and wife who vows to take revenge upon those that visited this upon her. It’s got all the right classic elements to it that make for a great western story.
There’s a part of me that really likes the concept of the woman scorned and goes off for vengeance against those that did her wrong. In this era or time and way of life women were more often harder than we realise. They were tough and could farm, handle guns and help build their houses they were of some solid stock. So keeping that in mind there were women in this time you didn’t want to cross even if men thought they were the ones with all the power and smarts. Then the other part of me says well does she have any idea what she’s doing or is she going to do this blind and stumble her way through?
We get our answers and then some. Ben squared are a voice that I have enjoyed through their storytelling and this time around joined by Andrew well they really have found a partnership that piques the curiosity. The structure of the story is well done and I like the way that we see the events unfold leaving us with the ending where things get even more bizarre than we could’ve expected them to be.
Also the characterisation here is pretty darn strong. I like our Indian friend the town undertaker who tries to use the indigenous peoples ability to communicate with the recently deceased through using the human body. Now I forget what kind of Augury that’s supposed to be but I think that we see it here is extremely well placed in the story.
Now normally this is the kind of interior artwork that I gravitate towards. While it possesses it’s own unique charms I do find some faces more generic and less interesting or decipherable. Still the use of page layouts through angles and perspective are utilised very well indeed. Also there’s a time when things aren’t supposed to make sense and what Hannah delivers is kind of surreal and interesting.
I am a huge fan of the twist in this story and how it affects the characters and their motives for doing what they do. I think this would have been strong enough if it were just a straight up revenge scenario but by bringing the Ben Squared’s classic out of the box thinking they take the concept to a whole new level.
Different, daring and above all extremely interesting take on a tale of revenge in the old west.