Comic Review: Yasmeen #3 (Scout Comics)

Yasmeen #3, from Scout Comics, continues the story of Iraqi immigrants to the United States. It starts in Iraq in 2014. Yasmeen is 16, and her parents are buying a […]

Yasmeen #3, from Scout Comics, continues the story of Iraqi immigrants to the United States.

It starts in Iraq in 2014. Yasmeen is 16, and her parents are buying a brand new house. It’s time to move up! But it’s also bad timing. Just as the deal is signed, ISIS invades Mosul, and the family is under threat. Yasmeen’s family makes a run for it, but Yasmeen is captured by terrorists, and likely to be tortured or sold into slavery. And her uncle is executed! Two years later, Yasmeen is reunited with her family in the United States. How will Yasmeen and her family readjust as they gain distance from the religious tension they seem to have outrun?

In issue 3, 16-year-old Yasmeen, kept a sex prisoner with three other girls, is about to be sold! If there was ever a time for her to try to escape, this is it! And back in present-day US, the ripples of this past continues to haunt Yasmeen and her surviving family.

As I mentioned in my review of issue #1, Writer Saif A. Ahmed (The Dinner, etc), an Iraqi screenwriter and structural engineer, has been living in the US since 2015. His dialogue, sense of story progression and character development put Yasmeen in a fascinating category. For us North Americans, the politics of Iraq may appear opaque and puzzling, but Ahmed walks us through the dynamics of the situation.

Likewise, illustrator Fabiana Mascolo (Caput Mundi, Ruggine), a Rome-based artist continues a carefully crafted thin line style with Yasmeen. The clean lines mislead us, bring a sterile calm with a horrifying subtext: the banality of horror. Human slavery, and buying and selling sex slaves. It’s soberly portrayed, disarmingly recounted.

If you are motivated to read about international cultures and communities and have a sense of what human struggles are being felt across the globe, Yasmeen can serve as an eye-opening, personalized primer on power, innocence, immigration and resilience. Highly recommended.

Scout Comics, Yasmeen #3 (of 6), $3.99 for 27 pages of content. Teen+

Alan Spinney

About Alan Spinney

After a career of graphic design, art direction and copywriting, I still have a passion for words and pictures. I love it when a comic book comes together; the story is tight, and the drawings lead me forward. Art with words... the toughest storytelling technique to get right. Was this comic book worth your money? Let's see!!