The last issue of Rebels opens with Seth’s last day on the job as an American Revolutionary. He is fighting his way through a house, dodging bullets and killing red coats. He knows all he has to do to is survive and he can go home. It doesn’t take long for him to realize that the end of the war is only the beginning for some people, with issues like slavery, land grabbing, and British sympathizers plaguing the fledgling nation. Seth opts to leave all these matters to others, he has done his part and wants nothing more than to return to his homestead and put the last seven years behind him. Alas, he has a few surprises waiting for him on the farm.
Brian Wood turns in probably the best script of the series with the closing issue of Rebels. He starts off with a series of action based encounters that detail the close of the war for our hero, and then meanders into the bitter truth of all the problems that still face the newborn country. This issue is all about the price that soldiers pay for the time that they put in serving their country. At the end of it, the personal cost must still be paid, and the sad realization that as many problems have been created as were solved. The scenes when he finally returns home are heart-breaking. In his mind, he has fought for his country and his family. From Mercy’s point of view, he has abandoned her for seven years on a fool’s errand.
The art is telling, as it always is. There is one scene in particular where Seth is staring out over an empty field that holds the remains of his best friend Ezekiel, who fell in one of the many battles of the war. The sun is out illuminating the field in a golden expanse. It is beautiful, with no trace of the violent conflict that once raged there. It is a timeless reminder of how horror can become beauty and beauty can become horror. Mutti also captures the discourse between Seth and Mercy with pinpoint accuracy. We are privy to every pained expression between the two, plucking at our heartstrings.
I encourage everyone out there who has ever lived with the horror of war on either side to look into this series. Even if you have just wrestled with your own duty in whatever sense, it’s a book of honor, duty and commitment. It is a book of the perils of loving someone when greatness comes to call. And finally, it is a book about paying the price for our choices. Simply put, Rebels is the best that historical comics has to offer.
To get your copy, because you are insane not to, visit Dark Horse Comics
Geek-o-Rama received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, comments and opinions are those of the individual reviewer.