Black Mask Studios
Writers: Matthew Rosenberg & Patrick Kindlon
Artists: Josh Hood & Amanda Scurti
Sometimes you pick up a book on a whim and suddenly fall in love with it. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does it completely takes you by surprise. We Can Never Go Home #1 is that book right now.
The plot so far is simple enough: One of the outcasts at a high school (Duncan) has a run-in with one of the more popular girls of the school (Madison) where he discovers that she has a few superpowers. Throughout the issue, they start to learn about one-another and that they might not be so different, despite what their cliques may suggest. The spark of friendship that the reader gets to see in this debut issue is wonderful, and it leads to some of the purest character development seen in a single issue.
Matthew Rosenberg and Patrick Kindlon both write for the series, and they do it masterfully. Neither writer seems to have much experience, but it doesn’t show. The story moves at a natural pace, and nothing seems to be forced. On top of the solid characters and concept, the title is also full of genuine humor and heart. Exchanges between Duncan and Madison are funny, and the characters complement each other perfectly. At one point Duncan gives Madison a mix tape (with the playlist visible for readers to see) and you can practically hear the soundtrack playing throughout the comic.
Josh Hood helps to make the experience special with his art. His style looks similar to artists like Babs Tarr or Stacey Lee, with characters that appear to come from the pop art movement. While his backgrounds are fairly simple, his character’s expressions are captivating. His panels are laid out in a way that makes the awkward conversations between the teenagers flow flawlessly. Overall this is a perfect example of art elevating a story and making it a smooth read. Amanda Scurti, the colorist, deserves mention as well. Her color palette is simple, but bright, and really brings out the best in all of the characters.