The continual reverberations of violence in Lost Soldiers continue to haunt these men trying to move past their trauma. Picking up this issue finds us witnessing the violence brought upon innocent children who are forced into being child soldiers. Following the brutality that occurred in the last issue, here we see something further depraved in the murder of these children from one of our own protagonists. This entrance into true natural depravity gains the attention of the “antagonist,” Burke. This issue manages to really go downward in terms of a narrative slope through hitting a fundamental climax for these two characters.
Doubling down into this narrative momentum through Ales Kot’s narration is a spectacle to behold. While it’s not omniscient, we follow into the thoughts of Kowalski as he unleashes his final rampage to have his “therapy”. In this ease into a Schrodinger’s Cat situation that this issue leaves us on, the narration of death returns to the page. In a fundamental manner, it’s where we’ve hit our narrative and emotional climax for following these men bear witness to their own cycles of violence.
Artist Luca Casalanguinida manages to really hone in on this issue artwork that it almost gravitates the eye towards the sculpture-like caricatures as though they were all meant to be in museums. Aiding in this execution is Heather Lawrence Moore, whose coloring really sets the tone for this series. The moody colors and hues throughout this issue really pop it past the other stands. Letterer Aditya Bidikar really manages to have this subtly magnificent storytelling with how he inputs all of the dialogue and captions. One of the best is the way he eases readers into the whole vision that Kot has penned.
While this issue isn’t necessarily the hardcore action-packed romp found in most soldier narratives, it speaks to the soul of anyone who’s struggling to move past the violence. While the book deems itself Lost Soldiers, it’s really about boys avoiding the violence put upon them through their own situations. Whilst our current set of wars and injustices can’t be avoided, we need to listen to each other before we push one another away.
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