War Mother #2
Writer: Fred Van Lente
Art: Stephen Segovia and Roberto De La Torre
Someone predicted the success of It…
What You Need To Know:
Welcome to the year 4001, and to a dying Earth. Ana is the War Mother, sworn protector of her people, bred to keep them safe from harm. She’s bonded to a sentient gun (these are comics, after all), and she’s currently on a mission to find her people a new home. Unfortunately, the first issue ended with Ana’s capture…
What You’ll Find Out
Can Ana escape to warn her tribe? And will her relationship with Flaco, her sentient rifle, ever be the same?
What Just Happened?
Last issue ended with the War Mother’s capture, and this one jumps straight in with a whole bevy of horror tropes. Hanging prisoner, Ana is greeted by the controlled bodies of the Traders she saved in the first issue. In a horrific moment, the Traders declare that “only half of us can be saved,” and literally stab themselves in front of Ana. It’s a genuinely chilling scene, giving the issue real power. Even more disturbing, in their last moments the Traders regain awareness, and Ana must watch them die as they scream in pain and fear.
We’re then introduced to some sinister cyborgs, “the Cleansed,” clearly the automata who are controlling this subterranean complex. They’re sinister and dangerous, and frankly feel vaguely evocative of It. I can’t help thinking this issue’s release is perfectly timed.
Nobody will be surprised to see War Mother break out, but the issue turns things upside-down by reminding her that the tribe are in danger. As a result, rather than rescue Flaco, War Mother races off. It’s a powerful moment, with dialogue calling back to themes from the first issue; Ana’s dedication is hard on those who love her. Along the way, there are some absolutely tremendous battles with the Cleaned, including with a maid who’s climbing over the roofs in a sinister, spider-like manner.
Finally, just to up the ante, Van Lente treats us to a mysterious plot in the tribe as well. The War Mother’s son is in danger…
The issue is tremendously effective, creating a real sense of oppressive horror. Van Lente benefits greatly from a strong artistic team, and splash panels and action sequences allow Segovia and De La Torre to strut their stuff. The Cleaned in particular are a real highlight, a chilling menace whose motives are as yet unexplored.
This is shaping up to be an excellent sci-fi / horror story. Given a surge in interest in the horror genre right now, it couldn’t be better timed.