I Am An Avenger – Post Mortem Short

By Roger

Nominated for a Will Eisner Comic Industry Award in the Best Short Story category, “Post Mortem“, found in “I Am An Avenger” issue 2, is a powerful story about how Steve Rogers copes with the loss of soldiers under his command. The story was written by Greg Rucka, with the script being written by Michael Lark and Stefano Gaudiano.

The rest of the issue is a complete waste of paper in my opinion… especially the pie eating short story. However “Post Mortem” is a very powerful story and I am glad it got singled out.

Post Mortem” is very light on dialogue and narrative. There are pages without so much as a spoken word, however in each panel, more is conveyed than any word ever could. There are emotions and situations which are better understood using art as a medium.

Michael Lark’s art for this short manages to get across every hint of emotion, however his style is very reminiscent of old 80s and 90s comics. I’d have liked to have seen something far more intricate for a story of this caliber. This is not meant to insult Lark’s work, as it’s still quite good. However I believe the story warrants far more than he was able to produce.

“Post Mortem” begins with Steve Rogers being informed that there was only one casualty from their last operation. Rogers gets the information regarding the whereabouts of the soldier’s service, and attends to pay his respect. During the scenes in the church and at the cemetery, Rogers must endure hateful glares from the soldier’s wife. He approaches her after the burial service, and asks her to tell him about Donny (the fallen soldier). He also says he would like to ask a favor or her, though the reader doesn’t get to know what that favor is until the last few panels of the short story.

On the last page, we see Rogers unpacking from his trip, having returned home. He then stares at a single dog-tag, and then tosses it into a box full of tags worn by other fallen soldiers. In this powerful moment, we get to see that Rogers isn’t some heartless commander who sees his men only as pawns. Rather, he remembers every single soldier lost under his command.

I really liked this short story a lot. There’s an artform to writing powerful short stories. You have so little space to work with, and must be able to convey so much in those few pages. Rucka, Lark and Gaudiano managed to pull that off with grace here. I’ve not yet read the other nominees for Best Short Story, however I can clearly see why this short was nominated.

“Post Mortem”
I Am An Avenger Issue 2
Story: Greg Rucka
Script: Michael Lark and Stefano Gaudiano
Art: Matt Hollingsworth, Travis Lanham

After a 25 year absence from comic books, Roger has returned, thanks in no small part to the iPad.

1 Comment

  1. […] Hood,” by Bryan Talbot and Camilla d’Errico, in Fractured Fables (Silverline Books/Image) “Post Mortem,” by Greg Rucka and Michael Lark, in I Am an Avenger #2 […]


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