In this second installment of Joe Haldeman’s The Forever War: Forever Free, ex-Earth soldier MaryGay immigrates with her longtime lover William to a planet called Middle Finger. A reservation for humans who still procreate the old-fashioned way, they are joined by other Forever War veterans. The rest of the galaxy is now at peace and controlled by a hive mind of clones known as MAN. This hive mind is a combination of human and Tauran minds linked together by something they refer to as the TREE.
Having lived on Middle Finger for a couple of decades, the residents now have grown children and grandchildren who know no other life, and everyone appears to be content; however, when MAN makes everyone an offer to become a LEAF on the TREE, the veterans see that as a threat to their humanity and plan to escape. What they decide to do next could quite possibly decide whether homo sapiens continue to exist.
Like the first issue, the second one starts with nine pages of exposition, but this time the art adds a whole other level of story development. We get to see the strange and archaic world of Middle Finger, its harsh winters, and how the characters we love have aged. When we hit page ten, the story moves along at a nice clip, and we are reintroduced to some of the characters from the novels as well as their children. I love how the conflict between the generations is organic and serves as the emotional core for the story. There are not as many action sequences as in the first issue, but there are enough to keep the hardcore sci-fi fan happy. (There were also a couple of typos, but those can be fixed in the trade.) And once again, the art was spot on.
I love sci-fi stories that have a good balance of relationship building and action, and Mr. Haldeman has done just that.
Creative Team: Joe Haldeman (writer), Marvano (artist)
Publisher: Titan Comics
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