In times of war, the thing we lose more than anything else is ourselves. In Lost Soldiers, writer Ales Kot tempers the plot with some great emotional revelations as things begin to ramp up. Instead of showing the violence wholesale, issue #2 really focuses on the aftermath and effects of violence. While it is easy to simply say violence begets violence, here we see how the violence ensures this cycle, and how hard it is to even contemplate breaking it when you’re trapped in them.
Artist Luca Casalanguida has created one of the most refined and nuanced visual portraits of soldiers I’ve ever had the privilege to review. At times messy and energized, but emotionally rendered, there is such a beautiful distillation in how this artist depicts these characters. From his time collaborating with Kot on James Bond: The Body, Casalanguida has always been a master at properly humanizing a simple trope or arc. Simple shots of faces or even looming images of impending danger coming to the scene all coalesce into a truly unique atmosphere.
Colorist Heather Lawrence Moore is simply stellar within this book. She truly blesses Lost Soldiers in the way she offers a really cool mix of colors. There’s a film-like quality that really just pinpoints these exact moments that really hold stark images together. A hallmark of this still-young series is the way Moore offers an even grander visual depth and language that makes it a clear moment within our comic book shelves.
Letterer Aditya Bidikar really offers some pronounced lettering within this book, especially for the back matter in this issue designed alongside Tom Muller. These wondrous blends of real-life photographs and in-universe artifacts are a great tease for what is to come next within this series.
As always, Ales Kot’s work shows how great he can be at breathing life into his art. It may be a simple premise, but Lost Soldiers is not a book you want to miss.