Writers: Matthew Rosenberg and Patrick Kindlon
Artist: Josh Hood
Matthew Rosenberg and Patrick Kindlon have collaborated in the past on books like Twelve Reasons to Die, and Menu. This time it’s for the book We Can Never Go Home, a story about two high school kids, Madison and Duncan, that each have their own unusual gifts. Madison has the ability to increase her strength and make her eyes glow in a way that’s reminiscent of Storm from Marvel’s X-Men. Duncan has the ability to kill people with his mind, his mother unintentionally becoming his first victim. They learned of each other’s abilities after an altercation with Madison’s boyfriend, Ben. This led to Ben spreading rumors that Madison was a freak around their high school. Duncan ended up making Madison a mix tape and nicknaming her “Maddie”. They left us in issue #1 with Madison killing Duncan’s father, after he was found beating his own son. Now Duncan has a plan to help them out.
Rosenberg and Kindlon did an excellent job at making sure that the plan remained a mystery to us until Duncan revealed it to Madison. It helps pull the reader further into the book so the story doesn’t feel predictable. Often times when reading a story or watching a movie, we can make assumptions about what will happen next. This time anything I could come up with was wrong. Duncan’s plan, like most, doesn’t go exactly as he planned it. More trouble is headed their way, but Madison’s biggest fear is being experimented on. We have yet to see if that’s a real threat since this issue, like the first one, has left us on a cliffhanger. I have some ideas about what will happen next, but I am looking forward to seeing how this story plays out. Even though Duncan alluded to the superhero route for Madison, I don’t see that being a viable option for her at this point. They could surprise us in the end.
Black Mask has been very consistent lately with the books they publish; they have all intrigued me. We Can Never Go Home is an easy book to recommend, between the great artwork Josh Hood has provided and the writing from Rosenberg and Kindlon. The life of a high school student, minus the powers, is properly represented. Granted I haven’t been in high school in over a decade, but if memory serves me right this is accurate. It gives the characters some humanity and makes them relatable for younger readers. This is also the first time I’ve read a comic that not only has a female lead of Asian descent, but a female, Asian lead that was adopted as a child. I do wish that they told us more specifics on Madison rather than just mentioning she’s Asian. I look forward to seeing what they have planned next. I’ve gone back to issue one to look at the playlist they created for the mix tape. It’s a great mix. I’d like to see them add more little touches like that in the story.