Unknown Soldier 18 (May 2010)

Huh. Dysart finishes the arc without giving the action payoff I was expecting (I was also expecting another issue of the arc). It seems he’s saying goodbye to Paul too, after giving the kid a really rough lesson or two this issue in futility. Moses learns a similar lesson and ends the story in a far worse place than he started it. Sera doesn’t make an appearance here, which confused me a little bit. What’s most interesting about the story is the time Dysart took with it. In modern series, with their trade-ready arcs, there aren’t as many asides anymore–certainly not ones…

Unknown Soldier 17 (April 2010)

Well, I certainly wasn’t expecting that ending. I think this arc runs five issues and Dysart is three in–and wrapping up some of the revelations–so I was wondering how he was going to keep it going. He’s keeping it going by turning the entire comic on its head. Turning Moses into an unreliable narrator–who isn’t reliable to himself either–isn’t an unprecedented narrative move, but it’s completely unexpected. For sixteen issues, Moses has been utterly reliable. This issue has a little of the return to action, but it also has a bunch more character stuff. Dysart’s bringing Sera–Moses’s wife–back into the comic as…

Unknown Soldier 16 (March 2010)

It’s kind of a mystery story and kind of not. Moses is very active this issue, but not in his usual way. Instead, he’s back to being a doctor, back to letting his concern for people effect his actions. I know this arc isn’t the last one, but it feels like Dysart is trying to get the character to a new place. So while there’s the mystery and the character development–not to mention the continuing question of what’s going to happen to Paul–Dysart is implying things aren’t going to go well. There’s the direct foreshadowing of Moses realizing he’s probably going to…

Unknown Soldier 15 (February 2010)

I’d heard about this arc. I’d heard it’s gradual and deliberate. Ponticelli changes his style a little. His lines are muted. Coupled with Moses’s narration, Unknown Soldier feels very far away, very dreamlike. Moses’s narration brings the reader up to speed (it’s possibly a letter to his wife) and, basically, he’s loitered around the village where he found Paul a home. Bad things happen, big and small, without getting much reaction from Moses. He’s dejected. Dysart and Ponticelli soften the focus on the grim realities of Uganda this issue… it’s grimmer because it’s about Moses. He’s running out of energy–there’s not a…