The second installment of Ethan Young's The Battles of Bridget Lee, on sale now from Dark Horse Comics, changes the narrative radically. The first volume was a satisfying action story set in a post-apocalyptic world, with an intriguingly badass lead character. Bridget Lee is a warrior who became a nurse after losing her husband in a battle against alien invaders known as the Marauders.
When readers meet her, 10 years after that traumatic event, she is working in a remote outpost that shelters the orphans created by the endless war and by her society's preference for able-bodied males at the expense of all others. And she is still haunted by her husband's final moments and her own inability to kill his attacker.
The story becomes much more complex in the second volume, as Young reveals more about the Marauders and the society that sent them, as well as the society that is here on earth. Suddenly no one is trustworthy, and no act can be taken at face value.
CBR talked to Young about the evolution of this story and secrets behind The Battles of Bridget Lee: The Miracle Child.
CBR: Book One and Book Two of this story are very different. You built up a world in Book One and then really pulled out the rug from under it in Book Two. Why did you choose to tell your story this way?
Ethan Young: Since the world was firmly established, I felt comfortable in throwing the audience off. If you’re already invested in the characters, introducing an unfamiliar situation can make the tension resonate more. The reader will have their own expectations, and my job is to anticipate it and subvert it, while still giving them something satisfying.
And since Book Two ended with a big reveal, I assume there will be a Book Three that will turn our world upside down again? How many volumes will this story be altogether?
Three volumes altogether. I’m actually working on Book Three as we speak. I don’t know if readers will necessarily be shocked with the upcoming revelations, but I personally think the next volume offers the right amount of closure for these characters.
You have talked in some interviews about the importance of representation, and the fact that your hero is an Asian-American woman. How did this idea first come to you? How did her character evolve as you created the story? How will the Bridget Lee of Book Three be different from the Bridget Lee of Book One, and did any of those changes surprise you?
A lot of Bridget Lee’s personality was borrowed from my mother, who endured a lot of hardship growing up in the People’s Republic of China. Bridget is a pragmatic character on the surface, who confronts situations head on. But deep down inside, she has an impenetrable loyalty to those around her.
I think Bridget’s last scene will speak true to the character arc I’ve built. She doesn’t change so much as she adapts. She’s come to terms with everything. I always knew where my ending would land, it was the middle that I had to figure out.
Your story critiques war, but it also contains compelling action scenes. Were you concerned about the possibility that the ‘glamour of war’ would detract from your overall message?
It’s the eternal question of anti-war art, right? How do we deliver our message when we’re also seemingly contradicting that message? And can the reader discern between what is meant to compel them, versus what is meant to entertain them?
For now, the best I can say is that the action scenes certainly excite me to a certain extent, but I hope Bridget’s internal struggle is still vivid in the readers’ minds while it’s happening.