Review: MWD: Hell is Coming Home

As the world becomes more mired in politics, it is always interesting to hear a viewpoint about war from someone who has never served. It’s true that every citizen is entitled to their opinion but the thing about intelligent discourse is that one requires real world experience beyond one’s limited view.

There can be an indifference for many war veterans when they come home and have to listen to people who have never served talk about things only service members have had “skin in the game” in. This becomes true of veterans who have served in a war zone. We experience life different from those family and friends. That gap becomes even wider when we come home. In the honestly told and beautifully illustrated MWD: Hell Is Coming Home this experience is eloquently articulated.

We meet Liz, a war veteran who had just come home, as she gets a tattoo of her military working dog, Ender. She looks forward to returning back to Iraq. We flashback to 2004 in Iraq, where during a patrol, her and Ender stop a suicide bomber before he could detonate his bomb. The graphic novel explores how it is for female military members and the many unnecessary situations they have to deal with including having to prove themselves as soldiers. On one patrol with her friend, Simms, her vehicle gets hit with an IED, leaving Liz, the sole survivor. As she returns home to her family, her mood is somber, as the way she sees her friends and family is different. Liz feels entirely alone after the situation and finds herself in a downward spiral of flashbacks and blackout drinking. Things are destined for a horrific ending when she befriends a dog reminding her of her partner she left behind.

The graphic novel is a powerful portrayal of PTSD and the difficulties of coming home after being deployed. The story by Brian David Johnson and Jan Egleson is raw, heartfelt, and sincere. The art by Laila Miskevski and Karl Stevens is precise, lifelike and stunning. Altogether, an important book that shows military veterans who have PTSD not as victims but as humans.

Story: Brian David Johnson and Jan Egleson Art: Laila Miskevski and Karl Stevens
Story: 10 Art: 9.7 Overall: 9.8 Recommendation: Buy