Making Peace With The Many Mothers In Animosity #16

by Josh Davison

[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]
Kyle is still alive but barely. He’s bleeding outside the Walled City in in White Forest, Georgia. He is hallucinating and experiencing flashbacks to his time with the Animilitary. Meanwhile, Jesse is inside the city and learning more of what this colony does and how it operates. The Headmistress of the Walled City believes, despite their speech and ability for empathy, animals are still below humans, and humans should reassert their dominance over them. Jesse is resistant, but the people within the Walled City are just as persistent.

Animosity #16 cover by Rafael de la Torre and Marcelo Maiolo
Animosity #16 cover by Rafael de la Torre and Marcelo Maiolo

Animosity #16 finds Kyle reflecting on his choices as his life seems to near its end, and Jesse experiences the depth of fear, hatred, and bigotry that can lie within humanity. The Headmistress of the Walled City is cruel and hateful, but her arguments against befriending animals are rooted in real-life arguments against racial integration.
Therein lies much of the genius of Marguerite Bennett’s writing. Animosity has always been a racial allegory, and it rings true quite often. The Headmistress warns of impurity and humanity lowering itself to the level of animals. She reiterates that they must put previous racial boundaries aside to build a coalition against the animals (like whites in America tried to recruit the previously discriminated Irish to build a coalition against African Americans). She also treats other women like important breeding mares to make sure that humanity isn’t overpopulated by the animals—like white nationalists are obsessed with white birthrates.
It’s all very clever and thoughtful, and it’s wrapped around compelling leads in Jesse and Kyle. Plus, the Headmistress has the potential to be a very interesting villain to stand against Jesse and her animal allies.
Animosity #16 art by Rafael de la Torre, Ornella Savarese, and Rob Schwager
Animosity #16 art by Rafael de la Torre, Ornella Savarese, and Rob Schwager

Rafael de la Torre, as always, makes it all work with a style that walks the boundary of cartoonish innocence and gritty realism. It’s a brutal world, but Jesse is doing everything she can to find and build beauty within it. He is joined by Ornella Savarese who also contributes great artwork to the issue. Rob Schwager gives the book a good color treatment to boot, and the overall comic performs greatly in terms of visuals, in addition to writing.
Animosity #16 is another compelling and whip-smart installment of the popular AfterShock series. It draws upon real-world conversations and debate surrounding bigotry and discrimination, its characters are compelling and likable, and the artwork is great. This one is worth checking out and earns a recommendation from yours truly.
Animosity #16 comes to us from writer Marguerite Bennett, artists Rafael de la Torre and Ornella Savarese, color artist Rob Schwager, letterer Marshall Dillon, and cover artist Rafael de la Torre with Marcello Maiolo.

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