Review: Welcome Back #5

WelcomeBack_005_A_MainChristopher Sebela’s Welcome Back has returned to stores with its first new issue since December. The first trade, which collects issues #1-4, is also now available in stores.

The first few chapters of Welcome Back stand better as a trade. While the first issue introduces an interesting concept (reincarnated assassins kill each other over and over in an unending war) it is text-heavy without explaining much of what’s going on. That said, the next three issues seem to hit a stride that makes the story easier for readers to understand, because the readers learn with the characters as they learn more about their past and present.

Issue #5 features more art from Claire Roe, who took over for Jonathan Brandon Sawyer about one and a half issues into the series. (Sawyer’s Twitter still lists him as an artist on the series, so we may see his return in the future.) As with any artist change, it’s a little jarring to see two styles side-by-side, especially in the same issue. Sawyer did a great job of giving Mali a distinctive style and nailed a grungy punk look that would make The Misfits proud, where Roe brings a cleaner style to the table.

This style does make the action sequences a little easier to process, but there isn’t as much action in the newest issue as Lorena hunts for Mali. As with previous issues, the reader discovers as the characters do, and Sebela plays the suspense card well in making everyone wonder whether Mali and Tessa are alive or alive again.

Because the necessary exposition is out of the way, Welcome Back #5 stands much better on its own than its predecessors. Since it was originally meant to be a limited series, it will be interesting to see where and who the story and characters of Welcome Back will be next.

Story: Christopher Sebela Art: Claire Roe
Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read, but try the whole first volume

BOOM! Studios provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review