Boom Studios 2015
Written by J.G. Jones & Mark Waid
Illustrated by J.G. Jones
First let me commend the interiors by J.G. here because the style of artwork we get really is gorgeous, it’s true artwork. Such vivid people and animals that make it look like it’s on it’s way to being a photograph rather than painted and so realistic it just blows you away. Such talent is displayed on these pages, faces and musculatures and the clothing it all seems painstaking authentic to my eye. Work like this has to be admired and applauded.
This isn’t a story for the weak or heart or those who don’t understand what life was like in this time of American History. Much like To Kill a Mockingbird this has the ability to be brutally honest, frank and jarring in the honest portrayal of the time and place it’s set in as well as bring attention to the plight of the characters and hopefully help you see how you look at things and decide to help change the world we live in today.
Chatterlee, Mississippi, April 1927 and the town faces a crisis the river that runs by is flooding and they are trying to save their town but racial inequality and the way the white men treat the black folks well let’s just say it’s very much 1927, sometimes hard to read but this kind of honesty from Mark is a stark reminder that it really isn’t so different from what we hear today, from both whites and blacks about the other. Methods of persuasion were much different back then and when a group goes to “enlist” folks to fill sandbags to ensure the flooding river doesn’t destroy their town well let’s just say things get out of hand.
Ah while it really is going to be considered controversial the writing and dialogue really is extraordinary. You see both sides of how whites in the area feel and the resignation and helplessness of the blacks in town it’s powerful, somewhat depressing but you can’t help but admire that it’s so brutally honest in it’s depiction. Sonny escaped the earlier encounter to be persuaded to fill sandbags and is now on the run from the Klan. We see what looks like a comet or meteorite hitting down and weakening the levee but what it ultimately delivers is something else else entirely.
One of the most truly magnificent bodies ever to be seen much like Michelangelo's David stands there and defends Sonny from the Klan members chasing him. Able to rip trees from the Earth and convince dogs to stand down, resist bullets and overpower this group of men it’s remarkable to see. So is he an alien or just a man transformed by what crashed to Earth we won’t find out here but now that he’s here the south will never be the same.
How Sonny gives the man his name is actually humorous as is giving the stark naked man something to cover himself in so that the last page is something absolutely special to behold.
This is one of those historical fiction stories that should be read. It’s too good to pass up and while at times Mark has written it offensively it’s that kind of honesty about how things were and could still be seen as today that makes it more important to read and understand that things aren’t too different. With the artwork as powerful as the writing this is truly something that could change the world or remind us what’s important in life like Harper Lee did once upon a time.