Published on May 14th, 2015 | by JCDoyle0
Rebels #2 Review
Issue 2 of Rebels sees Seth and the Green Mountain Boys commit raids against the English while Mercy takes care of the homestead.
This issue is split into three acts. Combat, home life, combat.
The first act shows Seth and the Militia sneak into an enemy camp to steal some important documents. The importance of the documents isn’t made clear until the third act but the lengths that the militia will go to is very telling of the characters involved. Seth, being the central character, takes the lead of the raid and while the other Green Mountain Boys take care of the guards he enters the commander’s tent. Unfortunately the commander isn’t as asleep as he makes out and initially gets the drop on Seth. This scene is used by Brian Wood to illustrate the English point of view which is one of irritation at the ‘miserable woodsmen’. It is also used to establish exactly what kind of man Seth is becoming and at the moment, in this scene, he’s definitely got a dark side.
Act two sees Seth return home but not before the reader gets a view of Mercy’s life. Three pages of silent panels depict the daily ritual that she goes through; fishing, preparing food, cleaning the house, protecting the land. Panel after panel of hard work. Even in the few moments when she gets to sit down she is still hard at work protecting her home: the briefest glimpse of a rifle is enough to ward of the unwelcome visitors. This silence changes when Seth returns home and there is a pause in the difficult lives each of them lives. It becomes clear at this point that Seth and Mercy have different views about the militia and Seth’s part in it. It seems to me that this is going to form the main backbone of the story going forward. Whatever else Brian Wood may throw at these characters it’s going to be the battles fought by this couple that will make this comic worth reading over time.
The final act is another raid, this time on a barge carrying reinforcement stones for the Army forts. It becomes clear that the documents from earlier contained details about dates and times for ship and troop movements, invaluable to a small group trying to combat a vast, organised army.
Each act is different and has a different tone. The artwork reflects the situations helping to separate the ideas that each act is focusing on. Act one has shadowy, blurred images to represent the sneaky raid and the dubious characteristics of Seth. Act two is clear and brighter in colour, a respite from the filth of war but it also helps to illustrate the relationship between Seth and Mercy. And finally Act free is awash with flashes of colour and almost abstract panels to highlight the chaotic element of the raid.
Brian Wood has created two very strong characters set in a world in turmoil. Both Seth and Mercy have the potential to do anything within the story. Already Seth has revealed a dark side that almost enjoys killing while Mercy has the confidence and strength to protect what is hers.
This is proving to be an interesting comic focused on character. There is a strong historical element to it but this doesn’t hamper the story, it enhances it. I think it will be difficult to say if Wood’s planned story is a success until much later down the line but based on what I have read so far, it looks like it’ll be a journey worth taking.
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Writer: Brian Wood
Artist: Andrea Mutti
Colourist: Jordie Bellaire