The Displaced #3 Explores Survival and The Power of Grief

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New York
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The Displaced community of people from Oshawa, Ontario are struggling to establish their own group dynamics. It’s been a month since their town disappeared and nobody else remembers it ever existing. They’ve made a place to live for themselves, and now the have to find food and supplies. The way they go about that task will shape the group dynamics, for better or for worse.

Courtesy of BOOM! Studios. Cover art by Luca Casalanguida.

The Displaced So Far

In issue #1 of The Displaced readers were introduced to an ensemble of characters in a little town called Oshawa, Ontario. By the end of that issue a natural disaster occurs and Oshawa is wiped off the map, leaving then to grieve they’re lost homes and loved ones. In issue #2 we find out that no one outside of Oshawa ever remembers it existing…and that goes for the surviving citizens as well! The survivors are assisted by one man, and outsider named Harold, who dies remember their town, and all of the others that this has happened to.

In issue #3 we find the survivors of Oshawa adjusting to life one month later as “refugees” so to speak. No one outside of their group remembers who they are. They don’t exist anymore. They never did. Not everyone agrees on the best way to move forward, and a portion chose to use their curse for gain. The book opens with a few of them robbing a grocery store, knowing that once they leave, no one will remember them. This creates tension as others are trying to gather food and supplies in a less morally ambiguous way. It creates a bit of conflict between them all, and a game of dominance to establish a hierarchy is at play underneath it all.

Courtesy of BOOM! Studios. Cover art by Vincenzo Riccardi.

Where Do The Displaced Go From Here?

Ed Brisson is really digging into character psychology with this book. It’s extremely character driven in way that some people may be turned off from. There’s not a lot of action, or huge moments, but the way he’s exploring the themes of humanity and society are really good. There’s a lot of commentary on how the world as a whole can quickly move on from a disaster or a traumatic event. We’ve experienced so many, so frequently that we have to move on quickly to the next. When we add in the way social media and 24 hour news cycles are constantly churning out content, we don’t have time to reflect and mourn one before the next…and we just forget about it. Harold represents a different generation before all of that. He remembers all of the bad things he’s been through and seen. He want’s to help the next generation avoid the same mistakes and pitfalls and make sure everyone remembers.

The Emotional Reality of the Art

Luca Casalanguida and Dee Cunniffe bring a lot of emotional impact to the art in the issue. The moments may not seem grand in scale, but each social interaction between survivors have huge implication. Casalanguida emotes that wonderfully in the face of every character. Subtle eye and mouth movements are huge signals that help us read these characters thoughts without bogging us down with exposition. Dee Cunniffe uses rich colors in contrast with a lot of black to provide depth to each panel.

Everything Points To 7.5/10

The Displaced is a fascinating study on the psychology of survivors. Guilt, ambition, and loss of identity Al factor in to these peoples motivations. I believe that this causes the pacing to be a little slow, and there’s not much action until the end of the issue. However, the story is still fascinating to see Emmett, Harold, Gabby, and the others react in different ways to this supernatural phenomenon they are experience together. The art is heavy and grounded all while still feeling ethereal in a sense at times. This issue may have been giving us a lot of information and showing us character development at the expense of action, but I still think it’s a great read.

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