CHAPTER 2: HOMECOMING
Writer/Creator/Penciller B. ROBERT BELL
Co-Writer ROBERT JEFFREY II
Inks DON HILLSMAN II
Colors LEXINGTON WOLFCRAFT
Picking up from the blockbuster first issue, we get a glimpse of what life is like for the citizens living in a Russia/China-occupied America. Russian drones are bombing Ohio, and the mainstream media is strictly controlled by communist regime, to block any pro-American “propaganda”. We begin in Philadelphia, where a couple of Russian Generals are brutally interrogating an American restaurant owner, whom they believe is connected to some guerrilla fighters. When physical violence against the man doesn’t work, they resort to threatening his family. The start images outside give us a glimpse of poor-looking people standing in a long line waiting for food. What’s interesting is that, through the dialog, we see that one of the Russians even questions the tactics they took in conquering America, about how violence helps inspire insurgency among the locals. As if on queue, a Russian tank is exploded in front them. Clearly, the native Philadelphians aren’t ready to give up just yet.
Cut to the American refugee camp in Ontario, where D.J. Mose B is broadcasting his hip-hop propaganda. There’s a funny bit where he offers a “eulogy” to such dead institutions as Youtube, Facebook, and the NBA. I think that’s a good reminder of how much of our way of life we take for granted. After his broadcast, Mose B and his friend Veronica is called into a secret meeting by the leader of the camp, Major Ellis and meets with a couple of American military leaders. They’ve come up with a new plan for a coordinated military strike through the American Northeast, possibly all the way to New York. It is believed if they can achieve significant success, America’s allies in the other countries will give military support. We learn that some form of the old American government, including the President, exists in exile (they don’t say where), and have been plotting a way to retake the nation. There are hundreds of underground resistance cells in America, like the one in Philly that blew up that tank, but they lack coordination. They need to be able to strike together, all at once, instead of just random hit and runs. That’s where Mose B comes in. His broadcasts are actually coded fight plans, which have helped some of the resistance cells, but the bandwidth doesn’t reach far enough into America to reach enough of them for this new plan. So they need for Mose B and his team to sneak back into America, to set up broadcast stations in Philly, New Jersey and New York, to distribute his radio show. But Moses rejects the plan because he thinks it’s too risky. And it’s not impressed at all when he learns one of their supposed allies is Dasha Rhodes, a wealthy Russian socialite, and former Reality TV star. Understandably, he doesn’t trust her, though she swears she doesn’t like what her country has done to America. Mose B leaves, but is followed by Veronica, who tries to get him to at least consider the plan, and then questions whether all that revolutionary talk he spouts on the radio is real. Another friend in the camp tries to inspire Mose B, but he’s still not buying it. Then Major Ellis comes into Mose B’s tent, with secret info that Mose B’s mother and brother, whom he apparently thought were dead, are still alive and being held in a concentration camp in Philly. Mose B’s involvement in this mission could give him the chance to get them out. So, reluctantly, Mose B. agrees, and the next day, he, Veronica, and Dasha, are given fake ID’s as Red Crescent (the ex-Red Cross) workers, and driven back into his old neighborhood in Philadelphia.
So much drama and suspense in this issue, and still many unanswered questions. Can Dasha be trusted? What about Major Ellis? It sure seemed awfully convenient the way he suddenly had pictures of Mose B’s family, doesn’t? This book underscores that desperate situations can cause people to do desperate things to survive. As Mose B says earlier in the comic, “Ain’t nothin’ to be happy about. This is WAR.”
Another great issue from this creative team. Highly recommended. GRADE: