Duty is as heavy as a mountain.
The second issue of Brian Wood’s new series gives us more of a glimpse into Seth Abbot’s life and the fuel that drives him, as well as leading his merry band into the larger war. Hearth and home become the touchstones of his courage and dedication, but his duty to his fellows and their cause pulls him from the duties of home and wife.
Wood uses this second issue to give Seth more of the touch of humanity that was absent from the first, where he seemed more born warrior and leader. Though the first act of this issue shows him to be a cold, steel-hearted man in the face of danger, it’s balanced by the revelation of that which he seems to be fighting for, though he’s perhaps not there long enough to appreciate it. It’s an interesting light he shines on the idea of fighting for home, and you get the sense that there’s a question on how far that will, and should, take you. If Vermont is free, do the other colonies take care of themselves or do you help them? We obviously know which way the winds of history blew, but it’s interesting to see it broken down in the lives of these frontier farmers.
Once again, the artwork is handled well. Andrea Mutti has a great ability to balance the tension of any moment, contrasting the peaceful moments with the hostile without huge dynamic shear. It all feels like the same world and only the circumstances change, much as in real life. That’s the biggest thing I love about it: This story is about the people, not the overarching themes of liberty and justice, just about the folks who fight and strive for it. After all, what use is an idea where none act on it?
Anyone who enjoys Wood’s work will find themselves right at home in this series. He keeps asking the big questions on the smallest scales, allowing that work to be the stones upon which grander ideas can be built. If you’re new to his work but are interested in historical fiction that’s heavier on the former, then this is certainly a series you should be picking up.
Share the stories that move you.