W/A/C – Phillip Sevy
L – Frank Cvetkovic
TRIAGE: the assignment of degrees of urgency to wounds or illnesses to decide the order of treatment of a large number of patients or casualties
The connection between the title and the plot doesn’t hit at first glance. It isn’t supposed to. Just like with his previous creator works (House, Paradox) Sevy’s new book digs into you to draw out the connections and deep sitting meaning. On the surface we have a layered survival tale. It isn’t just about the unknown figure hunting down our three women that have been splashed together for … what end? There’s more to it than just the mystery of figuring out why them and why they are the critical element to the survival of all existence. There’s also the Triage of self as we go through life itself. The scope here is of a grand scale. In his first step up to the plate Sevy has sent one into the upper deck.
In reading through the book it has to be said that a comic book is the perfect (and maybe only) outlet for this to story to play out. Much of the art within is absolutely crazy. The landscapes, visuals, and just overall feel that jumps off the pages screams COMIC BOOK! Though, while feeding the bigger picture’s grand scale the art captures the tone of each of the individual women upon their focused intros. Our nurse feels very ‘every day’ but not boring or insignificant, the superhero is every bit as larger than life as you’d expect, and the post apocalyptic warrior is hardened and fluffless. The importance of getting the tone right for each of them upon first impression is vital to what’s coming. Each of them are set up perfectly.
What Triage attempts to do (and does) is remove the metaphorical layer that many stories bring to the “identity” process of oneself. While there are metaphors and symbolism in the book there is also a literal element at play. Our three protagonists are plucked and placed in an unknown world-scape. Everything must be re-learned and figured out on the fly. Also, while on the run from an unknown figure, they’ve got to strip down their preconceived notions and figure out each other, themselves, and how they fit within what is obviously a puzzle much bigger than them. The exploration involved directly mirrors an individuals journey through life.
Our nurse faces the realization that who she is and what she’s doing doesn’t make her happy. The questions of what it all means are creeping in. With the hero we have the detached psyche that doesn’t regard or fathom the consequence of action. The post apocalyptic warrior begs the part of us that has seen the worst of it and couldn’t give a damn less. Of the three, it is our nurse that is the ‘main’ … main of the book. It’s fitting to me that in this large scale, high concept book that it is the most grounded element through which we see it all. With the very real and relevant point in her life that we’re introduced to, the exploration in the book HAS to generate from her. Of all of the part of this book she is the one looking up at everything. Who is she to a superhero? to a warrior from a world that’s all but ended? What are her struggles in the light of what they face? How could she possibly measure up to these women?
And there is the crux of it all. I can’t say for certain but it appears that the three women could be different iterations of one woman, or are representative of different stages of one life. They also work as completely individual persons too. That’s because the overbearing concepts and underlying narratives work through any of those vantage points. There is a beautiful piece of writing in the synergy between the journey of the three women in their fight for survival and the journey in both self fulfillment and belonging. Despite “on paper” not being on the level of a superhero or post-apocalyptic warrior our nurse is just as important to all existence as they are. Thus is the crux of modern society. We are constantly bombarded with images and messages of how we’re inferior and wrong. Everyone and everything is bigger, badder, and better. Whatever you’re doing is mundane and insignificant. Look at everything you aren’t!
Throughout Triage we will witness a crisis of identity, stripping down of the self, exploration of what it all means, and a pathway to being born again by virtue of confronting all of the questions that surround our understanding of who we are. The journey promises to be emotional and adventure filled but the end will undoubtedly be more than rewarding …
… if we can stay alive to see it through.
TRIAGE IS OUT THIS NCBD SEPT 4TH