‘Welcome Back #8:’ Advance Comic Book Review

This is it: the final issue. Over the last 8 issues, we’ve seen life, death, reincarnation, war, and star-crossed love, spanning across the globe and over countless millennia. I’ve been hooked on this comic since the very first issue, and I’ll be sad to see it go. It does, however, manage to deliver a satisfying ending—which is not an easy feat, especially for a story as complex and intricate as this one.

In the previous issue, Tessa and Mali, our two mortal enemies turned lovers, arrived at Tessa’s parents’ house in South Africa. Tessa’s mother is an Atlas, one of the generals of the secret war that Mali and Tessa are on opposite sides of. So, it stands to reason that she’d disapprove of their relationship and perhaps want one or both of them dead. From her actions in the previous issue, that certainly seemed to be the case. As we begin this issue, however, she comes to them with a unique proposition.

Tessa’s mother will keep the two of them safe. They can live together on the family’s sizable estate and have their every need attended to—but they can never leave. They will essentially be prisoners, albeit in a rather luxurious prison. Will they sacrifice their freedom for the promise of safety—especially when they know that Tessa’s mother has her own interests, rather than theirs, at heart? Or is there a way to break the cycle that’s been going on for millennia, and end the war once and for all? Or, perhaps a better question would be: Now that Tessa and Mali have finally found love, after countless lifetimes of hatred, will they choose to live in peace or die as heroes?

There are a thousand different questions raised by this comic, both in this issue and in the ones before it, and, somehow, they all have satisfying answers. If you’ve been reading Welcome Back up to this point, I think you’ll be pleased with the way things turn out. If you haven’t been reading it, then I recommend starting from the beginning. It’s a crazy roller coaster ride from beginning to end, with twists and turns that will bend your mind and keep you on the edge of your seat. I’m sad that the story is over, but the journey was worthwhile every step of the way. I look forward to seeing what writer Christopher Sebela does next.

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