Sunday, July 30, 2017

We Can Never Go Home, Volume One - What We Do Is Secret

Last year at DragonCon, I was browsing artist alley, as I always do at the comic conventions, as I usually will find some really great stuff.  I was actually browsing at another table, when I happened to glance over and see the title of the graphic novel lying on the next table - We Can Never Go Home.  Curious, I picked it up and browsed through it, as the artist, Josh Hood, told me a little bit about the book. Two teenagers with super powers, a  gun, and each other.  It was certainly a different concept, so I picked it up.

Now, nearly a year later, I finally have gotten around to reading it.  Whoa!!!  This is one helluva story, let me tell you!

We Can Never Go Home is the story of Duncan and Madison, two deceivingly average teens in small town America.  Only, each of them harbors a secret.  Madison is super strong and pretty much invulnerable when she becomes agitated or angry.  Duncan can kill people with a thought.  Or, so he tells Madison.  His real secret is something far worse...

Writers Matthew Rosenberg and Patrick Kindlon, along with artists John Hood and Brian Level, tell a magnificent, somewhat dark urban tale of two teenagers on the run, thrown together by circumstance, but staying together through need and a sense of loyalty, for when it comes down to it, the only ones they can can on are each other.  Until, that is, Duncan's real secret comes out.

The story has violence, no doubt about it - but it's not gratuitous, nor flashy.  It's a part of the tale that defines both Duncan and Madison.  It's part of what makes them who they are and who they become by the end of this first graphic novel.  There's also a limited amount of nudity (surprisingly male, not female), but again - it's brief, but necessary, as it moves the story and pushes the characters further down their road of self-destruction.

What would a teenager in the real world do if they had super powers?  What would a teenager in the real world do if he or she met a fellow teen with super powers?  How far would you be willing to go to prove yourself?  To be that "knight in shining armor"?  Rosenberg and Kindlon answer that question with their first graphic novel.  And let me say, they are able to write some truly believable characters.  I easily got caught up in the story, and in the lives of both Duncan and Madison.  And there is no black and white in this story - no literal good or literal bad - instead, both characters have their good and bad traits, just like the rest of us.  The interaction feels natural, and their reactions and choices all have consequences.

I do hope that there are more stories of Duncan and Madison in the future, as the ending definitely left me a bit sad, a bit upset, and a lot wanting more.  Besides, these guys still have to answer the question of where Madison got her powers - why the government is after her - what really happened to Duncan's mother - and where do these two teens go from here?

This is definitely a graphic novel that I would place high on my recommendation list for anyone wanting a really good read!

RATING:  10 hot mix tapes out of 10 for making me really care about some teenagers who aren't exactly lovable, but who could be any of us at any time!


  1. Been googling this - but only see single issues, haven't been able to find a link for the trade.

    1. there is the link for the trade on