Rebels Isn’t Your Father’s History Book!
By Joe Grodensky
This is the first time I have ever heard of, nevermind read, Dark Horse Comics’ Rebels series and I wish I had heard of it from the beginning. I am a History major so as soon as I opened the first page and saw a depiction of colonial Boston, I was hooked. Brian Wood did a fantastic job setting a realistic tone which made me feel like I was in 1700’s pre-revolution America. The art work and colors, done by Ariela Kristatina, Andrea Mutti and Jordie Bellaire, respectively, are a perfect re-creation of that era in history. The cover alone sets a tone of intrigue. Rebels #8 is titled “Beware the Bookish Woman” but does have a short story toward the end called “Rebels: Occupation.”
“Beware the Bookish Woman” is a great story because it so accurately reflects the views of the time regarding race and gender, especially since the main character, Silence Bright, is a mixed-race woman. She is oppressed, as are all the colonists, on a daily basis by British soldiers sometimes just for walking the street. However, this doesn’t stop her from fanning the flames of revolution in New England. There are some memorable quotes in this issue that will speak to everyone, regardless of their reasoning for reading Rebels. That says a lot about a comic book and its writer. Just the overall message of this woman being a voice in a man’s world is powerful. The British government was silencing her because she was outspoken. It’s a message for all people for all time to never be afraid to be a voice for what’s right. The second part, “Rebels: Occupation,” is a fun story because it is set in New York and the events mentioned actually took place. In this story, we see two men hiding out in a building watching for British troops. One man, Seth Abbott, is a free man and the other, Clayton Freeman is a former slave who agreed to serve the crown to earn his freedom. Again, we see the theme of race and now loyalty.
I love reading new comic books and I love it even more when it centers on an interest of mine. There are plenty of comics and other forms of media that have used history as a background but not all have used history as accurately as Rebels does. The characters and certain situations may be fictitious but not to the point of butchering history. Wood kept the history extremely accurate while still telling an amazing story for everyone to read and enjoy. I give this book five stars for storytelling, art and historical accuracy.
If you must read one comic book from now on, read Rebels. Issue 8 is available now. To find your nearest comic shop, click here. And be sure to check out Julie, of OnWednesdays, review of Rebels issue 7 here and here.
Written By Brian Wood
Art By Ariela Kristantina and Andrea Mutti
Colors By Jordy Bellaire
Letters By Jared K. Fletcher
Cover By Tula Lotay