Writer: John Arcudi
Artist: Valerio Giangiordano
Colours: Bill Crabtree
Letters: Michael Heisler
I’m from England, as such I don’t know a great deal about the American Civil War. We learnt a little bit about it in secondary school, but I think the majority of what I know I’ve learned from comics and TV. Two Moons takes place in the civil war, focusing on a soldier by the name of Virgil Morris; a man who originally went by the name Two Moons before being taken in by the Morris family after the apparent death of his parents.
While visiting the nearby hospital for supplies, Virgil chances across the body of his recently deceased grandfather, who has one final message for him. This will be the first contact he has from the spirit world but after a strange occurrence in the heat of battle Virgil is arrested for seemingly murdering one of his fellow soldiers in cold blood.
This is where Two Moons moves away from being just a war story, as it’s revealed that not everyone fighting is what they seem. There’s a wealth of demons sewn throughout both armies who are creating chaos and feeding off of human misery, something only Virgil is currently aware of. Will he be able to convince his one time best friend and adopted brother Levon, the local Nurse Frances and his superior officers of this before he’s hanged as a traitor?
I feel like we don’t get a lot of Native American representation within comics, there’s only a handful of characters that come to mind. Two Moons securely establishes itself as a story with a Pawnee Native American protagonist getting in touch with a world of Native American mysticism not previously known to him. Virgil is an interesting character to follow, seemingly in over his head almost immediately but ultimately resourceful when it comes down to it. His supporting characters are a bit of a mixed bag, Frances feels like she’s constantly on the verge of being a joint protagonist, but as the story develops it feels like the creative team are afraid to pull that trigger.
As I alluded to earlier, I can’t really speak for historical accuracy within Two Moons and I don’t know a great deal about the indigenous people of North America either, but coming off of this volume I would definitely like to know more. I’m sure the history students among the Bigger Than Capes crew might have more insight to add to the former. One historical complaint I would make however is that the dialogue being written as though spoken by people of the time was frustrating at times, and it’s a testament to the strength of the story being told that I managed to tune that out.