Review: We Can Never Go Home #4

The penultimate issue of We Can Never Go Home is here, and it only ramps things up in anticipation of a rock ‘em-sock ‘em finale next month. It’s got its feet under it and it’s running for the finish, and I am loving every minute of it. The issue begins after (or, I suppose, just before) the cliffhanger kiss of last month’s issue, and we’re introduced to a larger world of people with powers. Madison’s mom reveals herself to be a little bit more in the know than we would have thought from issue one, and Madison and Duncan get themselves into one last big fight. There’s only one place to go next, and it’s right into the belly of the beast.

We Can Never Go Home has always been visually impressive, but this issue really amps that up. Michael Walsh has been killing it every month on the covers, but Josh Hood and Tyler Boss are always stunning on the interiors. Madison’s powers are used many times, against people that don’t immediately crumple in the face of them (and notably, Duncan’s still are not used at all); there’s a 25-panel page (why do you do this to yourself, Josh??); there’s a great splash page of Duncan that’s an amazing The Graduate gag; and there’s an amazing double page splash of a car crash that really sells the immediacy of it, and that effect where time slows down when something terrible happens. Hood’s pacing of this series, Tyler Boss’s vibrant colors, and the general visual championship is constantly impressive, and it makes me realize what a tragedy it is that there’s only one more issue to go.

We Can Never Go Home #4Rosenberg and Kindlon are doing a great job walking the tightrope with this series between limited and ongoing--if this series ends for good next month, it will be a little five-issue treasure that we should all buy in trade and force our friends to read; if it gets picked up for more issues, it’s got such a rich world, especially after this issue, that there is no limit to the places that it could go. They’ve built the world around their characters with such richness and depth that the world is as interesting to the reader as the main plot, and that’s a maturity in storytelling that you don’t always see in comics.

Black Mask books have a tendency to be big and bombastic, with a major issue at the fore--Young Terrorists and Critical Hit both come to mind as bigger, issue-oriented series. We Can Never Go Home is a wonderful little pocket of Black Mask’s publishing slate where the characters are dealing with things that started out as fairly normal teenage problems (superpowers notwithstanding), and has built itself into a nice subversion of the normal “discovering superpowers” storyline. It’s got a much more personal feel than a lot of the books on the shelf, and it makes it a joy to read every month, and to reread previous issues in anticipation of a new one.

They may never be able to go home, but I hope Duncan and Madison stay on the run for a good, long time.

Score: 5/5

We Can Never Go Home #4 Writers: Matthew Rosenberg & Patrick Kindlon Artist: Josh Hood Colorist: Tyler Boss Letterer: Jim Campbell Design: Dylan Todd Publisher: Black Mask Studios Price: $3.99 Release Date: 8/26/15 Format: Mini-Series; Print/Digital