"We Can Never Go Home #2" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Black Mask Studios
Written by Matthew Rosenberg
Illustrated by Josh Hood
2015, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on May 6th, 2015
Madison and Duncan are two seemingly normal high school kids. Madison is a cool girl and Duncan is a strange loner. Think Molly Ringwald and Ally Sheedy in The Breakfast Club, if Ally Sheedy was a guy. What sets them apart from the other kids is that they have super powers. She gets super strong when she's angry, kind of like the Hulk while he can kill people with his mind. They form an unlikely bond which becomes much stronger after Madison punches Duncan's abusive father to death, saving the boy from another beating. Now they're on the run and need cash quick.
The dynamic between the two characters is very engaging. You have these two people that have never really fit in and suddenly they've found someone they align with perfectly. It's not so much a heated romance as a friendship, strengthened by the mutual dislike of other people and the feeling of being an outcast. Although Madison was one of the popular girls, she was different, having more depth than the shallow cheerleaders that surrounded her. Both come from rough homes with parents that just don't understand them.
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That bond between Madison and Duncan becomes sealed in blood, first from Duncan's father and later with another body. They may have only been friends for short time, but it's clear that they're not going to forget each other over the summer or something. There's a level of terror that comes towards the end of this issue as the two of them are placed in real danger for the first time. We see the lengths that they'll go for one another and that involves murder. There's this great panel with Madison sitting in shock, her face half-covered in blood, like she's not entirely ready for what they've gotten themselves into. Duncan on the other hand, is all in.
There's a certain amount of wish fulfillment present in We Can Never Go Home. Duncan gets to stick it to the jocks that have been bullying him while Madison finally gets to tell her mother to shove it. They keep each other in check though. Duncan looks ready to kill Madison's ex-boyfriend but she holds him back from crossing that line. There's enough blood on their hands already. That doesn't stop Duncan from humiliating the guy in his letterman jacket.
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There's a great retro vibe running through the book thanks to Josh Hood's artwork and Amanda Scurti's colors. I'm not entirely sure what time period We Can Never Go Home is set in, but there's an ‘80s feel to it. This is helped along by the mixtape imagery and the fact that no one has a cellphone. This is a simple town which makes the abilities shown by Madison and Duncan all the more extraordinary.
We Can Never Go Home is like a teenage version of Bonnie and Clyde. Duncan has jumped into this new life of crime with full force, reveling in this chaos his life has become. He was born for something like this and nothing can stand in his way. It's almost like he's been planning this and everything is falling into place for him.