Ari Howorth ‘18 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
It makes sense that Boom! Studios’ Welcome Back works as a miniseries. The book provides the introduction to one chapter or what is clearly a greater conflict. This conflict is a centuries-old war fought through reincarnation, and given the nature of the narrative, the reader is thrust into what is just another chapter in this war. Granted, it is an engaging chapter, but it is hard for it to bear weight in the greater scheme.
Welcome Back opens with spunky, slacker, party-girl Mali whose celebrity status as the daughter of a serial killer has led her to seek out a fresh start. While the reader is introduced to Mali’s life and lack of fulfillment, they are also greeted simultaneously by a plot filled with both action and dense exposition that brings context to a war fought through lifetimes that Mali is soon to become a critical part of.
While Christopher Sebela’s dialogue is quick and fun (namely with Mai and her roommate) the writing becomes weighted by the exposition heavy voiceovers which, though interesting, take away from some of the more intricate action scenes. That said, Jonathan Brandon Sawyer’s detailing is impeccable throughout. This is most apparent in a two-page spread at the beginning that shows Mali’s various past incarnates in this conflict.
Welcome Back is a fun and exhilarating story, but unless Mali becomes a critical step in this conflict, it will lack emotional heft. As it stands, it appears that this is just a routine battle in a bigger war that the reader is supposed to feel attached to because it takes place in modern times. Well that simply isn’t enough for readers, and hopes are high for the next three issues.