Writer: Julio Anta
Artist: Anna Wieszczyk
Colourist: Bryan Valenza
Letterer: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
As we reach the penultimate issue of Home the tension rises to near unbearable levels. There’s also a lot of anger as we see how the narrative gets twisted against immigrants simply through racism. It’s a very emotional issue and you can’t help but be touched by Juan’s plight.
Following the events of last issue (when Aunt Gladys revealed she too had powers) ICE is determined to terminate Juan. He’s seen purely as a threat and not the child he is. There’s even a chilling moment where the lead agent asks someone to find links between Juan and terrorists that have displayed powers. It’s very frustrating because you know that they aren’t going to change their minds, that they are so stuck in their fear of difference that they can’t see anything else.
We also get the backstory on Juan’s father as Gladys tells Juan how his father died. It’s very moving and emotional. We’ve had hints of what happened throughout the previous three issues but here we finally see it. It’s beautifully done because it is subtle. The art is not explicit; we fill in the gaps as a reader and in a way that makes it all the more powerful.
The emotion surrounding Juan’s plight also really hits home here. He has these powers, and he is well aware of the plight of the other children he left behind in the detention centre. His sense of justice is so ingrained but, as his Aunt points out, it’s too dangerous. The empathy he shows reflects so well on the character of this young boy who has been through so much.
There’s some lovely art as we see Juan play football with some of the other neighbourhood kids. It’s a more normal activity, something Juan has not been able to indulge since he started his journey. You can feel that simple joy as he kicks the football because it’s right there in the art.
Sadly, despite being careful Juan can’t avoid detection. It’s not his fault he reveals himself, he’s just doing the right thing. The fact ICE now know where he is leads to some really tense moments in the last part of the book.
The art really helps build this as the ICE team dressed as if going to war enter a civilian neighbourhood. Juan’s desperate phone call to his Aunt is contrasted with the movements of these men. You can feel them getting closer.
We also get some more revelations regarding Juan’s family which really surprised and delighted me. The way they are brought into the story is just so well done. I am very excited to see where those revelations lead. I will not say more because I don’t want to spoil it.
I am also really worried about Juan because it does feel like the oppressive forces are determined to find him. If they do, you know there’s not going to be a happy ending. What I like is that although this story is told just with one family, Juan himself never lets us forget the fact that there are plenty of other children and families also struggling with the awfulness of the immigration system.
Overall the issue really sets things up for the finale. I am hoping that Juan makes it out okay and beats those seemingly impossible odds. Here’ s hoping.