History is often bombarded with grand events being the only thing that is of worth. Many times it’s more enjoyable to look at the nuances in these grand events to directly learn about it. This central theme is seen throughout Brian Wood’s new book Rebels. Wood takes readers into the 18th century American colonies and the American Revolutionary War. The storyline follows a man named Seth Abbott and a band of militiamen who are challenging the British force in the colonies. This small-scale look at the life of a few militiamen is a great read.
Wood’s story starts quickly with a firing squad of Americans facing off against some meandering British soldiers and crescendos with even more local battle. The writing is effective and engaging. It’s easy to relate to the feeling of being surrounded by enemies and putting one’s self into the role of the leader. The action comes at appropriate times after Wood sets up conflict between the two nations. Seth’s storylines, with the militia and with his ensuring marriage, work as symmetry. As Seth become more serious about the revolution, he also become more serious about Mercy Tucker and marries her. How the revolution will affect Seth’s relationship will become increasingly more important. Mercy has shown herself to be an incredibly self-assured shooter, but will she want to join Seth or will Seth continually put himself in harms way for the revolution? Wood has weaved a historically interesting first book.
The art by Andrea Mutti and colors by Jordi Bellaire are beautiful. The pencils by Mutti are often harsh and work extremely well in the action sequences. The muskets firing and the deaths because of them are wince inducing. Meanwhile, Bellaire’s colors are well guided. Most of the American revolutionaries are clad in dark and drab colors—blacks, browns and greens. As a counterpoint, the Briitsh soldiers are resplendent in their traditional red. The red jumps out on the page almost to call out that blood is in the future.
Overall, Rebels #1 is an enjoyable read. The story’s setting doesn’t bog down into anything generic, rather it elevates the urgency in which Seth must come to the aid of the people of his community. Wood, Mutti and Bellaire are well on their way to create a satisfying read and a worthwhile hero in Seth Abbott.