Action Lab Entertainment 2015
Written by Mat Heagerty
Illustrated by JD Faith
Coloured & Designed by Jon Cairns
Lettered by Ed Brisson
Alright to be perfectly honest I had no idea what to expect from this but it looked interesting and so here I am. Sheep is an interesting concept, someone who lacks decision making skills and just goes along with the flow are people we see all too often anymore. So what happens when it’s someone who is a sheep but it’s during the Vietnam War and he’s timid and unsure? Well that’s Banning for you but there’s something else unique about Banning and we see that here and makes you wonder what is it about this young man that makes him so different and special? That’s what we’re here to find out.
Washington D.C., July 3rd 1967 is when this story opens aboard a bus bound for Boston. A peace sign on his bag he’s accosted by a couple thugs spoiling for a fight, calling him hippie and such. He handles himself well all things considered but it’s seriously not in the manner you’d expect. Thanks however to this altercation with them he’s thrown off the bus and stuck there when he’s befriended by a young woman at a peace rally. Sadie takes him to her friends with the promise to help him find a ride.
Things spiral out of his control as these things often do. He smokes pot and drinks for the first time in his life. I have to say JD and Jon really do a fantastic number on his experience on pot with this whole 60’s trip he takes. Sadie and her friends take Banning to a rally where the leader is an enigmatic fellow who convinces them to take their protests of the Vietnam War to President Johnson himself.
There are plenty reasons not to trust this man, Soulya Kraj. We see those here as well when he talks to his assistant Beth. Then of course there’s the supposed peace rally where the crowd jumps the walls and ends up on the White House lawn. Of course the secret service is there to dispel the crowd only things get out of hand and bloodshed begins. All of this is going to shape Banning and how he sees the world and what he can do to make a difference in it. With his origins unknown but being a special kind of individual i’m looking forward to seeing where Mat takes this story.
Will Banning continue to be among the sheep or will he rise up and become a leader? With what the boy can do however this decision is going to be monumental. So far the characterization and story progression are phenomenally done and if this continues to go in the same direction as the first issue we’ll be in for one hell of an interesting read.
Original, fresh and interesting this will be unlike any kind of war story you’ll be prepared for. With great artwork that fits the time, era and characters beautifully this is another shining example of why Action Lab continues to be a company on the rise.