Writer: J. Michael Straczynski
Artist: Mike Deodato
Colors: Lee Loughridge
Letters: Sal Cipriano
Publisher: AWA Studios/Upshot Studios
I can’t believe that we’re already on the fifth issue of “The Resistance”. It seems like it wasn’t that long ago when I pulled the first issue off the rack at my local comic book store because it had a cool cover and I wanted to stock up on books for the impending quarantine/sheltering in place. The whole thing blew my mind and it instantly went on the pull list.
In case you aren’t familiar with this title let me bring you up to speed. The story takes place in modern times. A global pandemic with a 90% infection rate and a 95% fatality rate is decimating the population. Some in positions of power around the world are using the pandemic as an excuse to broaden their powers to the point of fascism.
Mysteriously the pandemic stops as suddenly as it began. It’s almost as if someone threw a switch. In the aftermath, we learn that many that had this virus and survived had their DNA altered by it. Now, these individuals have various powers.
In issue five we see that human nature is playing a part in what is being done with these newfound abilities. In North Korea we see one man take down a battalion that was trying to keep people from fleeing the country. In a metropolitan city in the states, we see a man using his powers to disintegrate an ATM, leaving the cash-free for the taking.
Most importantly we see a group of individuals with powers banding together to stop governments from overstepping their boundaries. Fascism will not be tolerated. This group calls themselves the Resistance.
As despicable as what the American president has been doing it’s worse in Eastern Europe. Russia has taken advantage of the pandemic to reclaim several parts of the former Soviet Union.
After a threat of sanctions Russia has surrendered a couple of the former Soviet states but refuses to liberate Belarus. Adding insult to injury Russia has bribed the majority of Belarus’s military personnel and they are now shooting at their own civilians to keep them in check.
The resistance makes plans and amasses an army to fight for the freedom of Belarus. Unfortunately, word of this leaked and Russia isn’t prepared to give up without a fight. The issue wraps up with both sides prepared to destroy one another.
There’s a bit of violence and language in this one. Coupled with the subject matter I would say that this one should be saved for preteens and up.
If Rahzzah hadn’t done such an outstanding job on the first issue’s cover I’d say this is the best one in the series.
Mr. Deodato continues to make it look easy with his work on the interior pages. They’re detailed but not to the point where it creates distractions in the background. My personal favorite is the panel when the Russian tanks came into Belarus.
If you were to take people gaining powers out of the equation and make COVID-19 far more fatal I would say that this story is frighteningly similar to current events around the world. With the powers involved, I would say that this book has become a blend of the X-Men and V For Vendetta. The story moves along at a steady pace with a good balance between action and dialogue.
Editing and lettering a comic book is like being a referee in a football game. It’s somewhat thankless because most of the time if the job is done correctly nobody will notice.
Aside from taking a brief pause to double-check which country Minsk was actually in (I mistakenly thought it was in Ukraine), there’s nothing in this book that is a glaring distraction. Well done!
For a science-fiction/action book this title has a lot of dialogue in it. None of its superfluous. Does a great job of drawing you further into the story, even when there isn’t much action.
As the issue progresses the tension gets more and more palpable, for our man without a country and for everyone in Belarus. It took a few issues to get to where we can see the relevance of the man without a country, but when the light went on it brought the whole series to another level.
There you have it. A five star book in a series that has been consistently running at at least four stars through five books. Unless something happens where the sixth and final issue falls flat on its face this is easily one of the best new series of 2020.