They say that a good epic never dies. Okay, maybe not so much they as I. But it’s true. Look at the enduring success of Beowulf, for example. More recently, Joe Haldeman’s award-winning Forever War novels are further proof that the epic is alive and well. As such, it’s no mystery that Titan Comics brings us Haldeman’s latest tour de force in comic form, The Forever War: Forever Free, released on April 25, 2018.
I think that I should really start with a quick overview for those of you who, like me, haven’t read any of Haldeman’s novels. I feel like I need to provide some sort of bearing in this review so you can orient yourself.
In the distant future, interstellar voyage is made possible due to “collapsar jumps,” collapsars being stars that have burned out. The collapsar jumps create time paradoxes each time they’re used. So as soldiers are sent from one to the next, they might jump forward by a hundred years or so. This technique was used to fight the Forever Wars.
Captain Marygay Potter has fought through the entirety of the Forever War and, although born in 2037, now finds herself over a thousand years into the future where heterosexuality is an archaic perversion, babies are genetically engineered in boxes, and humans are at war with an alien race called Taurans. Marygay has already lost one love to duty—he has to leave for another collapsar jump putting him an unknown amount of time into the future. And now, in an attack mission gone wrong, she has lost a second.
Belgian artist Marvano really delivered on the artwork. This shouldn’t really be surprising, though. He’s been illustrating comics and other works for several years and was actually the artist for the 1988 Forever War graphic novel. Marvano uses a “clear line” style with no hatching, which fits perfectly with the science-fiction storyline.
Honestly, Freedom War: Forever Free is an interesting story. It’s fast paced in some places, a little slow in others. In a few places, though, it got a little confusing. I have to wonder if being familiar with Haldeman’s novels or graphic novels would have made the difference here, which is highly likely. Don’t take this the wrong way, though—I have every intention of continuing to read this comic because it’s just good storytelling and this spin-off is definitely worth it. In fact, I just might pick up a few of the novels and give them a read, too.
Writer: Joe Haldeman
With: Gay Haldeman
Editor: Jonathan Stevenson
Source – Titan Comics
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