Comics Features Reviews

War for Kaleb #3 Concludes a Vital, Therapeutic Read on Mental Health

Jason Pittman concludes his important work about the struggles of living with anxiety in War for Kaleb #3. This poignant tale personifying the inner demons of Kaleb brings the story to a close that is therapeutic and comforting for those who battle mental illness every day and brings light to these very real, important issues for those who do not.

As Kaleb appears to be tumbling through a downward spiral, his girlfriend Addey and friend Mike become increasingly worried about him. Both attempt to get through to him but Kaleb still pushes them away. The internal and external conflict comes to a final confrontation on the roof with Kaleb’s soul hanging in the balance.

This comic manages to do a phenomenal job of taking something that everyone is familiar with, superheroes and their arch nemesis, and using that to personify the everyday hurdles Kaleb must go through. These two figures are his angel and devil, the internal battle he must fight each day against his anxiety. And like any angel and devil, no one can see them. It is an invisible illness, and his friends feel powerless. It is a conflict that will be all too familiar for those who must go through these types of invisible illnesses and those who are trying to get a better understanding of what loved ones may be going through.

Without giving too much away, this story has a very satisfying conclusion and, as mentioned previously, one that many may find helpful in their own attempts to heal and understand. If you or someone you know struggles with anxiety, depression, or any form of mental illness, this work is highly recommended.

The artwork is also very good and, like much of the story, reflects the inner struggles people must go through very well. The use of colour is poignant and you can genuinely feel the pain and emotion these characters go through in every panel on the page. Characters aren’t afraid to be emotional, which is something that is sometimes sorely missed in comic books and in stories in general. There are many tender moments throughout this issue and those moments really shine due to the artwork and life that is breathed into the characters. They feel real and they feel as though the reader could easily know them.

We can’t emphasise enough how important this work is. It is full of emotion, diverse characters, and takes you on a journey that is both informative and therapeutic. This story is nothing but raw emotion, something that is missed far too often in great storytelling. These characters will touch you and help you come to an understand of the very real struggles mental illness can create. This is a story you don’t want to miss out on.

War for Kaleb #3 is out now, along with a collected edition. Make sure you get your copy as soon as possible. If you liked this read, make sure to give us a shout in the comments below or send us your thoughts on Facebook or Twitter!

About the author

Jillian Diblasio