Rebels #4 Continues to Top My Must-Read List

Rebels #4 Continues to Top My Must-Read List

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Rebels #4 Continues to Top My Must-Read ListI was in Massachusetts without wi-fi last week, which meant that not a lot of reviewing got done, but it also meant I spent some time with some great comics including Rebels #4. My love of this series, established in my reviews of the first two issues, continues to grow with this one. Issue #4 takes us from the thick of the fighting at Bunker and Breed’s Hills to a mission a Fort Ticonderoga with the future of the Continental Army hanging in the balance.

Although there are occasional references to Seth Abbott’s wife, Mercy, this issue focuses on the Green Mountain Boys, not the marriage of the Abbotts. I understand the choice, and it’s a good one, but I miss Mercy all the same—I’ve liked having her voice to balance out Seth’s in these comics. But, in her absence, we get a good look at the power structure in the Continental Army. His Excellency, George Washington, is of course at the top, and there’s some in-fighting between his commanding officers, Benedict Arnold (before his infamous “turn”) and Ethan Allen. You very much get the sense that Washington and Arnold are companions-in-arms on the same side of the military “aristocracy,” while Allen is a bit of an outsider. From what little I know about Allen and Arnold, Brian Wood has captured these two very different men well. The story is nicely paced, and we get a good sense of the enormity of what is happening on these two fronts of the battle, even for those who aren’t familiar with the mission to get the cannon out of Ticonderoga and to the Continental forces.

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Andrea Mutti’s art is sparse, but gorgeous. I’ve compared her work for this series to woodcuts before, but her battle scenes in particular reminded me of Paul Revere’s engraving of the Boston Massacre—I hope I don’t need to explain why this style is so perfect for this book. There are no bright colors here; Jordie Bellaire has chosen a muted color palette with sepia overtones that really makes it feel like it’s torn from the pages of an old book. I always love when historical comics do this to give things a more dated feel. Together with Wood’s crack writing, Rebels #4 has captured a period of American history that I love and through the story of Seth Abbott has made what the men who lived in the Revolutionary era accessible to a 21st century audience. Rebels continues to be one of the smartest books I’ve read this year. I give this issue 4.5 out of 5 Lightning Bolts.

REBELS #4
Writer: Brian Wood
Art: Andrea Mutti
Colors: Jordie Bellaire
Letters: Jared K. Fletcher
Cover: Tula Lotay
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Price: $3.99
Release Date: August 5, 2015

About Author

Julie Hegner has been descending the geek rabbit hole since she watched her first episode of Star Trek at age eight. A longtime fan of Trek, Who, X-Files, and the Whedonverse, it was only a matter of time until hanging out with other geek girls and repeatedly watching Tom Hiddleston led her to the awesomeness of comics. She takes a special joy in reading about ladies who kick ass, but in general anything with a good storyline floats her boat. You can tweet @julz91 on Twitter.

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