With nowhere and no one left to turn to, Tessa and Mali have a big decision to make in the final issue of We(l)come Back. Christopher Sebela and Claire Roe wrap up the series in a satisfying manner, and it’s going to be tough to fill that pull list spot with a comic that has main characters who are equally violent and endearing as Tessa and Mali. (Sebela is, however, writing Heartthrob, with art by Robert Wilson IV and published by Oni Press, which might fill the void.)
Tessa and Mali seemingly exhausted their options around issue #6, when they discovered hiding on trains and killing the people who were trying to kill them wasn’t a sustainable way to live. It did, however, lead them to Tessa’s home in South Africa, where her mother greeted them with open arms and a cell-like room for each.
We(l)come Back #8 finishes out this plot line and neatly rounds out the rest of the story. The lingering questions are answered without piling on the information. Tessa and Mali have had cyclical stories with a distinct path in the timeline of We(l)come Back, and their fates have hung in the balance throughout the entire series. Sebela ends their story (or does he?) in a way that doesn’t feel rushed, despite the number of loose ends that remain at the end of #7. In terms of pacing, this issue is well done, not rushing the end or dumping a resolution on the metaphorical doorstep and fitting with the rest of the story.
As usual, Claire Roe gives each character depth and personality with her distinct style. Her attention to fashion made the story that much more believable as something set in a present time, and small details like Tessa’s jogger/jacket outfits and Mali’s favored boots/shorts combo gave the characters that much more personality. The Sebela/Roe team will be missed for its lively storytelling, and Jonathan Brandon Sawyer’s artistic contributions–the first two issues, character designs, and the incredible covers that grace each issue–will also be missed.
Overall, this issue was a well-crafted end to a wonderful series, and leaves only one question: Will there be a deluxe trade available for preorder?
Story: Christopher Sebela Art: Claire Roe
Story: 10 Art: 9 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy
BOOM! Studios provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review