Written by James Moffitt
Illustrated by Bizhan Khodabandeh
In issue 2 of this allegory, James Moffit and Bizhan Khodabandeh brings the reader back to the aquatic reef after the epic battle between Manuchehr and the heron. Initially, I assumed that Manuchehr died as a result of the battle but he is alive and well. He is also living amongst the fish in his aquatic form. We find that while there are fish who support Manuchehr and see him as a hero, there are those who see him as trouble. Not only do some fish find him troublesome, the eels make it a point to sabotage his message.
As I stated in the previous review for issue 1, I always find it difficult to teach my students the valuable lessons of events such as the Iranian Revolution. While there are heroes and villains in these points of history, there are also people who blur the lines of those titles. There are those who completely avoid the conflict as much as they could and there are those who make decisions that have bigger repercussions than they actually are aware of. On top of that, there are law abiding citizens who are good but take the side of the villain for various reason. History like life, is not just black and white.
While it is clear that the eels have their own interests in mind, there are some fish who do believe that if Mancuchehr wasn't around, there would be less trouble. While to the reader, this may seem counter productive, but it is a sentiment many have about several activists. When the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (MLK) was alive, there were quite a few people in his community who felt he was a rabble rouser. Many felt, that things didn't get out of hand until he showed up. The Iranian Revolution is no different.
The best part about issue 2 is that we find the actors taking sides. We see the build up. We even witness some fish state that Mancuchehr is not needed to fight a revolution and that the people cannot wait for him to recover. There are even those who feel that Mancuchehr has to fight for the people. This build up keeps the reader engaged. I cannot stress enough how Khodabandeh's artwork really brings it all to life. His breakdowns are very detailed. Everything is visible down to the smallest fishscale.
Overall, I am looking forward to the conclusion of these story. While we know the outcome of the Iranian Revolution, it will be amazing to see how Moffitt and Khodabandeh put it all together to deliver this wonderful story.