The bombs bursting in air!
OK. We’re talking about comic books, not the star-spangles banner of the United States of America – although the two, seemingly disparate elements, intermingle today.
We’ve all talked about his before: one of the great things about comic books is that they are ever-malleable in terms of art, design and story. Regardless of distribution method, or frequency, or shape, or size (all great aspects inherent to comics) there’s also no effects budget to hinder the artistic look of an individual issue. There’s no defined wall, no genre that a writer can’t hurdle a story over – or gloriously crash one through!
There’s proof through the night (and day) of this belief every time we pick up and read a comic book.
Today is Wednesday. It’s new comic book arrival day, a day all comic book readers eagerly look forward to. Let’s celebrate the first issue of a new volume of stories set in America’s nascent past that proves this point – again.
Let’s celebrate Rebels: These Free And Independent States #1
Rebels: These Free And Independent States #1
Written By: Brian Wood
Illustrated By: Andrea Mutti
Published By: Dark Horse Comics
A few years ago, Dark Horse Comics began publishing Rebels, a monthly series written by Brian Wood (DMZ, Northlanders, The Massive, Briggs Land) and illustrated by Andrea Mutti (Prometheus: Life and Death, Star Wars: Lost Tribe of the Sith) over a span of ten issues.
Rebels told the story of Seth and Mercy Abbott, a newlywed couple at the center of the turbulent year of 1775 during the violent formation of the nation of America. Here was a story of the colonists of the new world and their struggles against the old. The series was collected last year in a trade paperback called: Rebels: A Well-Regulated Militia.
This kind of storytelling is something that Wood excels at: pushing the boundaries of what people would normally call a “comic book” so that they might, instead, call it something else…something like “fantastic graphic fiction”. Who would have thought, in the day and age of the superhero, that a historic story in the mold of a James Fenimore Cooper novel, would have any interest in the retail market?
Well, those that have read Wood’s Northlanders or The Massive or Starve. That’s who. These were stories sans cape and tights and sans prevalent marketability.
These were just stories. Damn good stories, full of damn good art.
Rebels: These Free And Independent States #1 picks up where Rebels: A Well-Regulated Militia leaves off. A six-part, monthly series, here is the story of John Abbott, the savant son of Seth Abbott from the first volume, a coming-of-age tale set in the new nation of America. It is a nation full of terrorism, over-seas aggression, and political turmoil at home.
Here, Wood and Mutti mine history to tell us something about our present and, perhaps, our future. It’s proof that comic books, that now twenty-first century industry, can still push the sequential art medium forward with new stories in new genres with new readers, shedding new light on age-old truths about humanity.
Make the run to your local comic book shop today and pick up Rebels: These Free And Independent States #1.
You can catch a sneak peek of the first issue of Rebels: These Free And Independent States right here.