Plot: Aliens have drafted the human race into a galactic war with giant sentient bugs called the World-Eaters. As military strategy begins to show sign of weakness, the humans are soon realizing that their doom is imminent.
Comment: Drafted has been on my list to read since February when the guys on Comic Book Club podcast first recommended the series. I was actually going to wait for the trade given that it’s nine issues in and a fairly big plot to follow.
But Drafted is surprising accessible to a new reader. The story revolves around a group of the drafted led by the young but authoritative Gabriel. The team suffered a loss last issue, as one of their beloved teammates, and according to the introductory roster the only optimist, was captured by the enemy and suspected dead.
The drama that unfolds from the dilemma is realistic and poignant, as Raisa, a passionate Afghani woman, lashes out against the detached, western psychiatrist Devon. As the team grieves, the doctor takes notice of Gabriel and the older Walker’s relationship, stating the former serves a father figure. But before she can even finish making the observation, Raisa belts her across the back of the head, and accuses that if she hadn’t being so interested in analysis, their teammate wouldn’t be dead. “That’s… that’s not fair…” Devon responds, trying to validate her feeling. “I’m as upset as you are over losing Audrey…” This sends Raisa into a rage, and justifiably so. The trauma of losing not only your reality and being forced into deadly combat is devastating, but the little hope that is left becomes diminished when suddenly the only things you can hold onto slip through your fingers.
It’s a clever set up pitting these women against each other, as it touches upon the underlying detachment of psychoanalysis, and more importantly, the person doing the psychoanalyzing. Given the team and the human race’s predicament, someone has to study human interaction, but someone also has to mourn the dead. Therefore, both women are justified in their emotions, but Raisa’s passion makes her grief far more palpable and combustible than Devon, who uses her grief to study everybody else’s.
Yet Drafted matches this intense drama with powerful art. Isaacs’s style has strong, prominent line work, which individualizes the characters despite them wearing the same military outfit. Moreover, Isaacs’ style is reminiscent of an animation still, connoting not only movement through body language and gesture, but pacing the action fluidly. For instance, a scene of a human/World-Eater battle shows a solder being flung off the worm-like beast as his arm is torn off in his creature’s maw. The next panel gets in tight on the soldier’s face, his eyes blank and disoriented, as another calls for medical assistance. Then next panel pulls out wide and reveals the one armed soldier is not only one in desperate need of aid.
Drafted is a heart wrenching war drama that is comprehensible to new readership as it deals with human trauma rather than big space opera.
Final Word: Buy it!!
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