By Patrick Wolf
Tired of post-apocalyptic stories that involve zombies, aliens, and floods? Looking for an end-of-the-world story that uproots society from a political standpoint? Then Our War: The Truth Untold is the book for you. But don’t worry, just because this series is political, doesn’t mean it’s preachy. There’s tons of gritty action and raw suspense. So, if you like punk, anarchy, and politics, you’re definitely going to want to pick up volume #1 of this series.
After a radical group of left-wing separatists execute the president and over 100 other members of parliament, the once invincible United States of American finds itself in a semi-anarchic position. Now, fearing for her life, Our War’s heroine—Emma—must escape from New York before a radical group of right-wing fascists makes her wish she would’ve. But navigating through a war-torn country full of extreme political groups isn’t easy—especially when your guide is one of the people responsible for the murder of the president. Can the Emma and her guide escape the turmoil of a broken country, or will they become its next victims?
So far, this is a very well thought-out and well-executed series: the characters are relatable, the action is gripping, and the world feels genuine. I’ve never been in an actual state of emergency before (unless a Canucks Stanley Cup riot counts), but if there ever were one, I think it would be a lot like this. Right and left wing separatists are as prevalent today as they were in the 1930’s, and there’s no reason to believe they’ll be going anytime time soon.
Besides feeling authentic, this story has a lot of well-timed and exciting action scenes. I wasn’t bored once throughout the 100+ pages, and whenever there was an action scene, I was genuinely afraid for the characters. Henderson has a real talent for creating tension, and his action segments are original and unpredictable. I also enjoyed how each section had its own villain, and how this villain often portrayed one of the extreme political positions prevalent in this series. It allowed you to see ‘the other side’ before succumbing to the idea that any one of these groups is good.
That said, there were a few aspects of this series that tickled me the wrong way. For one, Emma was a lot more annoying than she needed to be. I get it that authors want to create conflict among their characters, but it has to be believable. When someone’s shooting at you, and your only escape is to jump into a sewer, you’ll jump in—no question. Emma, however, continuously argues about escape routes because they’re ‘gross’ and ‘insane.' I don’t know about you, but if I were her guide, I would’ve left her to natural selection.
Another element that kind of irked me was the voice-over (V.O) sequences. In a lot of comics, voice-over sequences are often astute, revealing, and necessary to the plot. These V.O’s, however, felt forced and out of place in spite of their efforts to come across as deep. In fact, I found the initial V.O’s to be more distracting than insightful. Had they been left out, I feel the opening would’ve been much stronger.
With that in mind, Our War is still a very strong series and certainly worth checking out. This is one of the smarter franchises out there, but that doesn’t mean it’s boring or preachy. Packed with gritty dialogue and tense action, this series is anything but dull. If you’re looking for a post-apocalyptic story that doesn’t involve mutants, aliens, or zombies, this is the one for you.
Our War: The Truth Untold vol. 1
Writer: Luke Henderson
Artist: Michael Derrah
Colorist: Michael Derrah
Letterer: Michael Derrah
Publisher: Credible Threat