Scout Comics 2017
Written by Phillip Kennedy Johnson
Illustrated by Scott Van Domelen
Coloured & Lettered by Dustin Mollick
Well sometimes you just don’t know what to expect so you go with it until ya figure it out. I will say this much Phillip manages to really get into the mind of a soldier returning home and bringing his experience to us the reader in a way that’s powerful. We all have heard War changes you but I don’t think we think about that too much, if you’ve never been it’s hard to fully understand even if you’ve got a spouse or loved one who went. So that he manages to give us this amazing glimpse into the mind of Marcus, what he’s experiencing as he comes home from war and what’s he facing well damn.
All throughout this issue we see the emotional struggle of seeing what happened over there compared to what’s happening here. How hanging out with friends and hearing their trivial concerns and thoughts and how they can grate on his nerves to the point we see. There’s so much going on here that you just kind of take for granted. From seeing his wife and meeting his baby for the first time all the while he’s seeing the local woman he had an affair with and her son whom he came to think of as his own. It’s strong, easy to see and understand and just plain good old fashioned writing. Not the affair part but how he’s able to demonstrate the effects of war on those of us who would otherwise have no clue. Now i’m not sure if Phillip served or what kind of research was done but it was extremely effective.
Scott and Dustin do some astounding work here. The tension and downright creepiness they are able to bring to the story to enhance what’s happening here is amazing to see. Yeah it’s got some great traditional looking comic book style going on but as we see characters changing or how they are seen through Marcus’ mind it becomes so much more than we bargained for. The utilisation of the page layouts with their angles, perspective and even strategic use of backgrounds keep us in the story, help the flow and make this as strong as it can possibly get.
You wouldn’t think that a story like this would be able to capture the attention but it does. It’s also not alone because what happens at war has a habit of spilling over into your home life. Nightmares, trouble readjusting, violent tendencies and the visions that just won’t subside all cause Marcus to do and behave in ways that he normally wouldn’t. What we see here and the offer he gets, from his old job back to a new one that needs to be seen to be understood, and his best friends guidance and confidence in all things will surprise you.
I love the twists and turns throughout the storytelling here. Phillip’s ability to structure the way the story unfolds, the pacing and the sheer amount of incredible characterisation make this one that you’ll be unlikely to forget anytime soon. It’s got the raw emotion that touches the soul mixed with the horrors of man’s own imagination and mind that will leave you awake at night wondering why we go to war to begin with.