Review – We(l)come Back #6 (BOOM! Studios)

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writer: Christopher Sebela
Artist: Claire Roe
Release Date: 19th March, 2016

In issue six we learn how Tess and Mali escaped the ambush, and what they did from then until meeting Lorena in the park. It’s a slower pace than previous issues have been, but here we get to see how our two characters interact now they’ve decided to split from the war and run away together. While not as action packed as before, the synergy between these two ‘old souls’ as they recover from that fight is evident. Chris Sebela has written these scenes well. There is a tenderness and acceptance between Tess and Mali, and a lot of gutter humor in their situation that draws out a few laughs from the reader.

Of course, this peace can’t last forever and their safe house gets compromised. Having seen them play together, we now see them fight together. That fight looks like a brilliant double page explosion of movement and dynamism that was saved as single pages in the review copy (sad face). I’m dying to get my hands on my retail copy now.

We’re moving into the twilight of We(l)come Back’s run, and so Mali and Tess have to make a plan. They need to make contact with the fabled ‘underground,’ a movement that help Sequels drop out the war and hide. As with the safe house, it’s Tess that has the answers here, and once more it’s presented in such a tongue-in-cheek way that I can’t help but tip my hat to Sebela. He is hitting a sweet spot in writing the relationship between these two characters. The whole shift of the writing from the first act into the second, and final act, is working well. It’s a shame we’ll be parting company with the world of Tess and Mali once this run ends.

Claire Roe’s art continues to impress me. It’s now fully three issues since she tag-teamed in when Jonathan Brandon Sawyer left due to other commitments, and it’s as much her comic now as it was his. I already knew in the first fight scene back in issue three that she could handle this project admirably, and the assault on the train in this issue is every bit as good. The momentum she creates in her art rocks, and some of the faces and interaction she has drawn between Mali and Tess ooze familiarity. It’s a concept that’s especially central to this story, to these characters, and there are a few panels that communicate this to absolute perfection.

So, the endgame approaches. Mali and Tess are heading for the underground, but before the conclusion we need several questions answered first. What will happen to Lauren, and just who IS Showtime (we know from Lauren that he just isn’t a dog, but possibly another old soul)? Also, I’m pretty sure Tess’ mum isn’t going to let this situation lie, I get the feeling she has been quiet, but not absent. Sure, we may be turning onto the story’s final straights here, but this tale still has some legs on it. We just needed this little break to pause for breath and get acquainted with our two protagonists as a couple, to give them some time together. Now it’s time to get back to kicking ass and taking names.

Rating: 3.5/5

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The writer of this piece was: Andrew McGlinn
Andrew Tweets from @Jockdoom.

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