Writer: Julio Anta
Artist: Anna Wieszczyk
Colourist: Bryan Valenza
Letterer: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
When last we left Juan he was reunited with his Aunt Gladys and we had a bit of hope things might get easier for me. That might not be the case as we shall soon see, but let’s not forget poor Mercedes who now finds herself back in Guatemala having been deported.
The panels of her journey back to the country she tried so hard to escape are heartbreaking. The art doesn’t pull any punches showing a woman separated from her son, with no idea what’s happened to him, it’s just so devastating. The emotion practically leaps off the page.
Thousands of miles away from his mother Juan is with his Aunt Gladys but there’s not necessarily safety here. He has powers he needs to control and he is still being hunted by immigration. It was great to see his Aunt take on the mentor role just as she had for her brother which we see in a flashback that’s really beautifully drawn and coloured.
There’s also a reunion for Mercedes and Juan, albeit still with them stuck in two different countries, thousands of miles apart, but thank god for the phone. It’s a really simply drawn conversation that says so much about the bond and what Mercedes wants for her son.
There’s also a twist with Aunt Gladys that made me gasp and cheer in equal measure. I won’t spoil it but needless to say it’s a real wow character moment and yet, for all that, it still sticks to the emotional realism of this story. That’s what I love. In a book about a boy with superpowers it’s also the story of a family on the wrong end of immigration policy and the heartbreak that results as they are hunted by the authorities.
That’s the thing, the heart and issues never go away, even when Juan is blasting energy bolts. In a way he’s blasting energy bolts because of his situation and emotions, the two are so well woven together.
I honestly can’t praise what this book is doing enough. It’s bringing real attention to the lives of people who are powerless and doing it through a book about a young boy who has powers. I think I have said it before but it bears repeating. It’s such a clever premise and executed so well with writing, art, colouring and lettering.
If you are not reading Home you need to. There’s only two more issues after this and I for one will be following Juan and Mercedes to their ending no matter what it may be.