REVIEW: Rebels #1

Written by Brian Wood
Art by Andrea Mutti
Published by Dark Horse Comics

Brian Wood is no stranger to comics, having a long and illustrious career on amazing titles such as Moon Knight, Star Wars, Conan, DV8 and many more. His latest book is a departure from those previous stories as Wood tackles the American Revolution with Rebels.

Now I know what some of you may be thinking: “The American Revolution? That seems sooooo boring!” Under normal circumstances I might agree, as I have never been a huge fan of the era, probably because many of the stories in other forms of media has never been all that exciting with a few very minor exceptions. In fact, part of me came into this book thinking that very thing, but I was amazed by what I found inside. Rebels isn’t just a fictionalized account of historical events, but a book about people just like you or I who must overcome great hurdles in order to achieve their hopes and dreams.

While the story of the American Revolution is very much at the center of this book, it is ultimately the characters that push the narrative forward. Many accounts of this time period fall short as they concentrate more on events and famous individuals instead of appealing to wider audiences by concentrating on the epic struggle of the everyman. By having characters such as Seth be the focus of this book, Wood manages to create a very personal account of what happened in this time period without bogging down the story with simple, boring facts.

Bringing this world to life is Andrea Mutti on pencils and Jordie Bellaire on colors. Mutti’s art is simply brilliant, with very dynamic panel work and detailed environments in every single panel. I can only imagine getting the character designs right in itself took a lot of research on Mutti’s part, but what’s on the paper is very satisfying. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have Bellaire’s rich color palette to add texture, depth and emotion to every page.

If you’re apprehensive about giving this book a try because of its setting, don’t be. Rebels #1 offers both a beautiful, emotional script with terrific visuals that anyone who appreciates what the comic book medium can do needs to add to their pull list. The first issue is out April 8, 2015.

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