Seth Abbott finds himself in the middle of a game of tug of war. On one side, there’s his sense of adventure and his extreme patriotism. On the other side there’s his marriage to Mercy. Seth can’t stay in the middle and expect both war and love to coexist peacefully. This triangle is at the center of Rebels #3. Most of this issue is dedicated to juxtaposing a story of Seth having to literally pull his father home in a frozen wilderness and scenes of Mercy’s droll and lonesome life. It was easy to see in the first two issues that Seth would be hard pressed to continue to be a patriot and a devoted husband, now we find out he’s to be a father as well.
Brian Wood continues his excellent work in this issue of Rebels. The first two issues were rife with adventure, action, and war. This third issue becomes very private and nuanced. Wood treats us to the mundane and everyday of Mercy, which compared to Seth’s life which is full of excitement. Wood also delves into Seth’s personal feelings of women. Seth says that no war can be won without the support of women but he’s shortsighted in his assumption that going to war is more important than his marriage and his being available to Mercy. Seth continues to dig himself deeper into the Revolutionary War. He’s home for hours before he sets out again leaving Mercy alone to dwell on her life and whether she can continue to support Seth. Rebels is at its best when the story centers around how the war affects the lives of the people living in and around Killington. This issue delivers this in spades, and it’s easy to look at the first three issues setting up a deeper and more profound look at how war affects us all.
The art by Andrea Mutti continues to be effectively drawn. We are taken from the normal scenes of springtime Northeastern United States to new and frozen tundra. Mutti’s pencils work well in this season and the scenes are actually chilling, in more than one sense. Jordie Bellaire’s colors continue to be beautifully collocated in this issue. The blank and stark winter of Holland Pond placed before the more temperate Killington in spring is delightfully colored. Seth’s face covered in dark shadows when confronted by Mercy makes the scene even bleaker; the work by this art duo continues to be stellar.
Rebels #3 has gone from a historical adventure tale to a story about how young lovers confront one another when each wants something different. Wood and company are crafting a satisfying saga which will be even sweeter with more emphasis on Seth and Mercy’s life, and how they’ll deal when two becomes three.