What I'm Reading: April 6

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

While I understand and respect Saladin Ahmed's decision to do a contained, twelve-issue two-arc run on Black Bolt, I am so very, very sad it is over and will miss it so very, very much.

I went into it knowing nothing about the character—I picked it up because of the author's Twitter feed of all things—and, like I said, AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

It's a prison break story, a motley crew/buddy comedy story, a found family story. It's a story about heroism and sacrifice and friendship and loneliness and guilt and regret and fear and childhood trauma. It's about how the childhood trauma of one generation affects the next*; about seeing our parents as people, about acknowledging the pain they caused us but also understanding why they are the way they are.

All that, and it also has some Things To Say about the harm that the prison system does, about how it exacerbates and escalates rather than problem-solves or rehabilitates.

AND it's about a hero who is mostly silent, which really, REALLY changes up... well, pretty much everything, in terms of narration and dialogue and group dynamics and communication.

A couple of excerpts that I clipped while reading, purely because I always love the Getting To Know You portion of any Team Story:

 Communication Breakdown in Black Bolt #2

Communication Breakdown in Black Bolt #2

A few issues later, Crusher and Black Bolt continue to get to know each other:

 Making friends in Black Bolt #4

Making friends in Black Bolt #4

And now I realize that I haven't said anything about Christian Ward's artwork.

Which, HOLY COW, is FANTASTIC and APPROPRIATELY OTHERWORLDLY and ATMOSPHERIC and SURPRISING and and and:

 Black Bolt #7: THE ART OMG

Black Bolt #7: THE ART OMG

I mean. Look at this:

 Black Bolt #12: AGAIN WITH THE ART, I SWOON

Black Bolt #12: AGAIN WITH THE ART, I SWOON

So, nutshell: I'm so sad it's over but loved it while it lasted and going forward, I will absolutely buy books that either Ahmed or Ward work on.

____________________

*Which, now that I'm thinking about it, makes me want to re-read the stellar The Best We Could Do. It's a totally different book in terms of tone and subject matter and on and on, but there's a similar thread about how we carry childhood trauma with us, and how the way we process and deal with it affects the next generation, etc., etc.

IF YOU HAVEN'T READ IT, PICK IT UP.