Rebels is a dark look into the sorted history of early American settlers. Writer Brian Wood and Artist Andrea Mutti have come together to create John Abbott (son of independence fighter Seth Abbott) who spends his days working on ship building. A real talent for the design of it all, he also started to build his own in secret, where no one would find him. Well, no one short of a mother worried about her child.
Samuel Nicholson is the local superintendent in charge of building the most beautiful ships in the country. Boston harbour, the place where anyone who wants to learn the trade should go, and not usually the place for an eleven year old boy. John, being as intelligent as he is, is apprenticed by them almost immediately, with his father whispering the warnings to be careful what he says. Sometimes John is too smart for his own good, which may make some people upset, or push his ideas aside for their brazenness.
Growing up in a world surrounded by fear, facing new threats from Britain, the Barbary States, and turmoil also close to home because of a shattered political system, John learns to do what he needs to survive. While this issue shows us a start to the whole process of his character development, we do get to see the beginning of an amazing story, with historical accuracy (for the most part) with minor inaccuracies due to time jumps and some things not being clear in the history books.
Wood does an amazing job bringing us back into a world disconnected from itself. A world that is harsher to the reality of survival. Where one mistake, one wrong meal, even a severe cold, could kill you. Everything working against you, and nothing much working for you besides your own ability. I do find some of the writing in the prologue part of the story is long winded, and comes off a bit too much at points. It isn’t enough for me to regret reading it, but it was enough for me to skim a few pages, and have to go back afterwards.
The art style of Mutti is absolutely stunning. While we haven’t gotten to see the dynamics of it yet (no action scenes, no close emotional scenes, etc) I can say she has a stunning ability to bring a life of realism into her work. Her naval battle scenes, he backgrounds, and her personality on the face of each character is absolutely amazing. Honestly quite high in my list of artists right now, but cautiously optimistic of what is to come as well.
I would absolutely recommend this comic to any fans of historical fiction, actions comics, or comics with a long winding story. While it will only be four issues long, it will be one to remember for years to come.
Please remember to order this one through The Comic Hunter. Give them a call, and remind them to add it to your file.