Seraph’s Sanctions: YOUNG TERRORISTS # 2

Writer: Matteo Pizzolo
Art: Amancay Nahuelpan
Colors: Jean-Paul Csuka
Letterers: David Hopkins & Jim Campbell
Publisher: BLACK MASK STUDIOS (December 2016)




The Breakdown:

Diego goes deeper into being part of Sera’s cell as she starts to create an army. With strange technology and powerful allies coming together under Sera’s banner, Diego starts to wonder if he made the right choice. Plus … sex with a plant based clone. Yes. I did say those words.

The Bad:

There are times were the art shifts in quality, but that is minimal.

The Moment of the Issue:

There were some many great moments in this jam packed issue, but the ending definitely got me and it is probably the best swerve I have read all year.

The Good:

To say that I was blown away … to say that this was well worth the wait … would be an understatement. Young Terrorists # 2 kicks things into overdrove and does not let go of you till the final moment of the 84 pager. The art by Nahuelpan and Csuka as riveting as you can clearly see that he got to do so many different things this issue. The action was cinematic. The emotional points were captured with near perfection with the right body language and facial expressions. Csuka’s colors were used to create atmosphere of the book instead of just coloring figures. Sure. Readers have an idea of the skin colors of our characters but the color is used to just enhance the tone of the scene readers are experiencing. Yet, it is the colors from Csuka that sets tone. For example, when Cesar has sexy time, the colors of him and his ‘partner,’ are a reddish tone, showing the sexiness of it. During the grit, hard panels of action and pain, Nahuelpan’s line work is rougher and Csuka’s colors is a bit darker, based on the light source of each scene. In the more intimate scenes, like Cesar having sex with … and I am not kidding you … a fungus clone, Csuka changes the color to be more focused on the characters … kind of encapsulating that intimacy.
When the book wants to look sexy, Nahuelpan’s panel work slowly seduces readers till met with the hard reality. When the book wants to look violent, Nahuelpan makes sure every line displays the ugliness of violence from a group of terrorists and their challenges, from other criminal groups to law enforcement. It makes no apologies, as there is nudity. Yet, Nahuelpan peppers the panel work to make sure it is not the main focal point of the scene. Yes. Nahuelpan is so masterful that he makes sure that even naked people aren’t as important as the expression on the character or the situation that the characters are in. That is a sign of a great artist.

Pizzolo pens a rich issue that is a rollercoaster ride from the moment go. Readers cannot help but be captivated by the strong, in your face story and the very deep and (somewhat) broken characters. There are multiple layers throughout the entire books. There’s dealing with the morality of society compared to doing the right thing. The overall might makes right argument is presented with such a way that either side is wrong & right. There’s even some very in your face views on sex and sexuality in this book that Pizzolo does not make any apologies for and it is presenting in a very logical way. Cesar acts like the reader’s guide throughout the book and it is his own questions of mortality and reactions that mirror the “normal, average” person. Pizzolo though makes sure to have Cesar experience things, such as genetic modification done to another character to make herself transgendered, in order to kind of both rattle readers while making commentary on sex, relationships, gender roles and more. ¬†The majority of the women in this book are either confident women that excel at what they do like Jessi or in authoritative roles like Sera. Pizzolo writes characters first. Genders, roles and the like are secondary.
Pizzolo also does an amazing job adding moments that will down right shock most readers and writes them as if they are as natural as breathing. This is the world Sera, Cesar, and the rest of the group have signed up for. There are people who are being sent to Mexico, even though they’re citizens, just because they are hispanic. There are people who are being abused and being used as an army, regardless it is a child or it is a person of old age. It’s very visceral, but fits into the atmosphere and themes of the book. ¬†Pizzolo layers moments of shock and grit with smart dialogue and plenty of misdirection. Readers will be gripped at the edge of the seat because you can never be sure what Sera is really up to. And that alone makes this book worth the read. And the dialogue is just as in your face as many of the scenes within this book. Pizzolo certainly makes sure the dialogue can resonate with readers and make sure it shines the light on how these people have suffered because of the lives they lead. And this is on top of the sci-fi elements within the book which Pizzolo does a terrific job making them feel more natural to what is going on then the norm. There’s definitely suspension of disbelief, but only barely because Pizzolo builds this world in a way where all these unique things such as clone fungus and super powers are very much possible.

The Verdict:

Young Terrorists # 2 is an amazing piece of sequential art and story. It gives no fucks on what is seemingly “accepted as normal” and creates commentaries on gender, freedom, sexism, race, gender roles and so much more. Pizzolo challenges readers to challenge normal while bringing them along for a journey of violence, ugly truths and mystery. Nauhuelpan and Csuka make a glamoriously dirty and sharpingly vivid look at the underground of a terrorist cell who use science, weapons and more to kind of bring to light the things that have been captivating people. And while the art does some to go up and down in quality here and there, that is very minimal. The book challenges readers. It challenges normal. It rebels against racism, sexism, gender roles and more. It’s in your face and it is makes no apologies. It makes reader think. And it could possibly be one of the honest and thought provoking books I have every read. Nothing is black and white and this book examplifies that. You have to read this book to truly experience it and understand.