David F. Walker (Bitter Root, The Life of Frederick Douglass, Power Man and the Iron Fist) brings us another fascinating story in The Hated. The story is set in an alternate history, when President Lincoln and Jefferson Davis agreed to a truce to end the Civil War that devastated the nation. Under the terms of the agreement, the Confederate States would remain autonomous with slavery intact, though it would be illegal in the northern states. These laws have little meaning to the Confederate raiders who cross state lines to kidnap free Blacks and sell them into slavery; however, in North Kansas, there is an ex-slave by the name of Araminta who takes exception to this. Using her skill, wits, and sheer doggedness to hunt down them down, she discovers the raiders are venturing farther north, and she will risk everything to stop them.
The issue starts out with a literal bang and moves along at a nice clip. The pacing is excellent, and I love the way Araminta is introduced. A textbook example of “show, don’t tell,” it’s a nice mix of action, exposition, and subtext. She is a multi-dimensional character who you not only root for, but want to continue this journey with. I also really enjoyed Mr. Hill’s artwork, especially the action sequences, and I felt it captured the old West—dirt, mud, and crap. Be sure not to skip over the headstones at the graveyard.
I would rate this comic “M” for mature, as it may contain offensive language for some people; however, it is true to the world and characters Mr. Walker created, and I’m very glad he didn’t shy away from it. No matter how ugly our history is, it’s important to recognize that it exists and learn from it.
Like many of the comics I review, this was also on Kickstarter, and I look forward to supporting issue #2.
Creative Team: David F. Walker (writer), Sean Damien Hill (artist), MX. Struble (colorist), Becca Carey (letterer)
Publisher: Solid Comix
Click here to purchase.