Rebels

Rebels 2 (May 2015)

Rebels #2Do you know why superheroes wear flashy outfits? So you can tell them apart in otherwise confusing action sequences. Rebels has no superheroes, just the heroic men of the pre-Revolutionary War militias fighting against the British. Wood picks an interesting topic–much like WWII, it’d be hard to find an anti-Revolutionary War sentiment in readers.

But Wood doesn’t have any of the minutiae down. I’m not getting a history lesson with each issue, I’m getting a soap opera. It’s not even an interesting soap opera. Guy is determined and dense and disregards his wife’s feelings.

And Wood’s lack of thoughtfulness–the wife asking what time it is when they don’t have a clock–is kind of the problem with the whole thing. To mix film metaphor, it’s The Patriot, but pretending to be Dances With Wolves.

But, if it weren’t for the weak ending, it’d be fine enough.

CREDITS

A Well-Regulated Militia, Part Two; writer, Brian Wood; artist, Andrea Mutti; colorist, Jordie Bellaire; letterer, Jared K. Fletcher; editors, Spencer Cushing and Sierra Hahn; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

Rebels 1 (April 2015)

Rebels #1I’m not sure a Revolutionary War epic is a thing. Not anymore, anyway. Certainly not in comics. But no one told Brian Wood because he’s trying to make a Revolutionary War epic with Rebels.

And there’s only one odd “tea party” reference. Otherwise, there’s nary a wink to be found in the comic. Given artist Andrea Mutti’s occasionally static figures, Rebels almost feels like one has found him or herself back in a Classics Illustrated.

As for the story, it’s okay. Wood labels the time transitions but doesn’t really make them matter to the reader until it’s too late. He’s in good company (“Downton Abbey” did the same thing). There are some father-son issues, some really strange future tense narration (Wood’s giving historical fiction texture but he’s also making his narrator weepy without context).

The comic goes out too tepidly. But it’s still successful. For a Revolutionary War epic.

CREDITS

A Well-Regulated Militia, Part One; writer, Brian Wood; artist, Andrea Mutti; colorist, Jordie Bellaire; letterer, Jared K. Fletcher; editors, Spencer Cushing and Sierra Hahn; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

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