Graphic Traffic – Presented by Queen City Bookstore Inc.


Brian Wood (Author)
Andrea Mutti, Matthew Woodson, Ariela Kristantina, Tristan Jones (Illustrator)
Dark Horse Comics (Publisher)

Review by Maia Bankhead

Fun fact: I read Rebels the same week as my AP exam in U.S. History, so I was looking for historical errors. I found none, unless you count the fictional aspects added to make things more interesting. Rebels begins with Seth Abbott and his adventures after joining the Green Mountain Boys as the American Revolution begins, along with all the despair that comes with it. We see Seth’s personal insights on the war, along with the contrasting opinions of his wife, Mercy. However, this graphic novel isn’t just about American pride. If anything, it calls into question the reader’s definition of patriotism, whatever that individual opinion may be. While Seth is a recurring character, other characters appear, showing the impact of not just the Revolutionary War, but even that of the Seven Years War on certain groups: Patriots, Loyalists, women, African Americans (whether enslaved or free), and Native Americans. Rebels reminds us that the Revolutionary War didn’t just impact soldiers of the era, but all who lived in the colonies at the time. The darker feel to Rebels works well with the realistic, sketch-like design of the characters, akin to Vertigo’s Fables, with coloring going back and forth between bright and colorful, bleak and monochrome. The best—or worst, depending on who you are—part of these stories is the fact that there are no heroes, but there aren’t any villains, either. These are people fighting for their cause, or choosing not to fight at all. Their battles are not for life or liberty. Instead, they fight in the pursuit of happiness, as these people want their own opinions to be known, and respected.


Chris Sims and Chad Bowers (Authors) and Scott Koblish (Illustrator)
Marvel Comics (Publisher)

Review by Gabriel Allandro

Spinning out of the Secret Wars multiversal event, X-Men ’92 is a trip back to the Marvel Comics of the 1990s, era of the hit animated “X-Men” television series that drew a lot of devoted fans to the comic book.  In the wake of the Westchester Wars and the death of Magneto, the X-Men investigate the federal Clear Mountain Project,  a “place where those who are tired of lashing out at the world can forget about being evil mutants and learn to become civilized members of society.” Needless to say, the X-Men are skeptical, and rightly so.  The project’s director, Cassandra Nova, is collecting mutants and brainwashing them, all while absorbing their psychic energies. By doing so, she comes across like an avatar of the Comics Code Authority, constantly concerned with what is or isn’t appropriate for young children — a large political debate during the mid-1980s and 1990s. While the  creative team of Sims, Bowers and Koblish does a good job of capturing the personalities and common visual gags of the time, such as the shredding of Rogue’s and Gambit’s uniforms during battle, the overall plot is a bit of a mess.  Constant references to Secret Wars will confuse those who didn’t read it. Still, hardcore X-Men fans will enjoy the experience. The book is a fun romp into nostalgia as the creative team returns to one of the X-Men’s most popular eras.  Best lines of the book: Wolverine, seemingly possessed by a Care Bear, saying, “Y’know, a hug can be stronger than adamantium.” And Cassandra Nova, confronted by X-Force, saying, “They brought guns to a therapy session. What is wrong with those people?”3