Review: Yasmeen #1
In 2014, things were going well for 16 year-old Yasmeen and her family. They bought a new house and were excited for what lay ahead. Then ISIS invaded Mosul leaving Yasmeen and her family to run and escape to their freedom. Yasmeen #1 tells the story of the title character as she experiences the trauma of ISIS and facing her new life in the United States years later.
Written by Saif A. Ahmed, Yasmeen #1 is a fascinating start of to the series. It bounces around between its two eras and peppering us with the horrors the family faces. It also delivers hints there’s far more to come as far as trauma. The comic is one that’s educational putting the reader into the horrors of Mosul’s fall and what it meant to the people there. It doesn’t mince words and also doesn’t spend too much time explaining the factions. Through the dialogue it provides what you need to know in an effortless education of the conflict. It also doesn’t pull punches. There’s horrors and scars by physical and emotional the characters are left with.
Iraq, 2014. Life couldn’t be better for 16 year-old Yasmeen as her family is able to buy a big new house. Then ISIS invades Mosul. Yasmeen’s Shia family barely escapes, while Yasmeen us captured by terrorists and sees her uncle executed. Yasmeen is sold to an ISIS fighter as a slave and must relinquish her innocence in order to save her three new Yazidi friends who are punished with starvation. Two years later, Yasmeen is reunited with her family in the United States. Her parents are so happy to be reunited with Yasmeen that they fail to see the state of depression that she has fallen into after two years of slavery and torments. Now faced with a new life, Yasmeen must learn to survive in a society that both fears and hates her and must overcome the horrors of the past in an attempt to find herself again.
Fabiana Mascolo provides the art which doesn’t go overboard in the horror. Instead, we witness the act and the aftermath with just enough detail for our mind to fill in the blanks. It’s a very interesting artistic direction that allows us to focus on the trauma and horror of the actions instead of being distracted by the gore. There’s also a peacefulness to Mascalo’s style which belies the death and destruction that’s to come as ISIS gains ground and attacks. There’s a juxtaposition in the beauty of the art and the lack of humanity that invades it.
Yasmeen #1 is a hell of a start. It brings a relatable narrative to an inhumane situation. It dips it toes in as a start to show us the horror that is yet to come and put a human face to those who suffered from it. It’s a perfect example of using comics to capture the real world around us and attempt to have us never forget the worst of our actions.
Story: Saif A. Ahmed Art: Fabiana Mascolo
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.15 Recommendation: Buy
Scout Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
Purchase: Zeus Comics