welcomeback_1Mali is a twenty-six year old woman, stuck in a temp job and a life in which she isn’t entirely satisfied. She has a few skeletons in her closet, and she feels like she’s drifting. After a stranger attacks her, Mali discovers that she is a “sequel,” a soldier in a war that the same soldiers have fought in for centuries. Meanwhile, Tessa, a soldier trained from birth, cuts a bloody swath as she seeks Mali, her target in this ongoing war. Mali finds herself torn between her old life and this new bloody one, but Tessa is coming for her. Will they continue the cycle of bloodshed or walk away from a conflict where they have no choice but to fight?

We(L)come Back pulls you right into the action and does not stop. The focus jumps between Mali and Tessa as their paths converge, and the story switches between the two characters’ point of view. Amidst the near-constant traveling and fighting, the reader meets Mali and Tessa and learns a little about the war. Mali is the story’s focus, and her character and arc are well-developed, and I found her an interesting and sympathetic character. Tessa is enigmatic, up until a gut-punching revelation at the very end. The story’s break-neck pace can be a little overwhelming, and I found myself hoping for pauses, where some additional explanation could set up the situation a little more clearly and allow for more emotional build-up for the climax. That being said, We(L)come Back is an action-packed adventure that will definitely hook readers and hold them until the very end.

We(L)come Back’s characters and world are portrayed in bold colors, and the style shifts between gorgeous realistic art and something that looks less polished. Despite the stylistic shifts, the artwork does a satisfactory job of portraying the action. I occasionally found the multiple perspectives confusing; the words do not always match the character or action that is taking place in the current panel. They do distinguish between Mali and Tessa’s perspective by using different colored narrative boxes, but the fact that the perspective doesn’t always match the character in the panel tangles the story’s flow at times.

We(L)come Back will appeal to readers who like adventure stories, especially those that drop you in the middle of the action; in particular, fans of stories such as Edge of Tomorrow will be intrigued by We(L)come Back. Due to the amount of graphic violence, this story is most appropriate for older teens and adults.

We(L)come Back, vol. 1
by Christopher Sebela
Art by Jonathan Brandon Sawyer
ISBN: 9781608868551
BOOM Studios, 2016

  • Megan

    | She/Her

    Features Writer

    Megan earned her MLIS from Simmons College and is currently the evening librarian at Bay State College in Massachusetts. She satisfies her voracious appetite for graphic novels and manga through regular visits to her local public libraries and puts her love of graphic novels to good use by adding to Bay State’s collection whenever possible. Megan maintains a personal blog, Ferret with a Strobe Light, where she discusses awesome books she’s read lately. When not engaged in reading or library work, she likes running, drinking tea, and working on her own stories and art.

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