We Can Never Go Home Volume One: What We Do Is Secret by Josh Hood, Brian Level, Matthew Rosenberg, Patrick Kindlon, and Dylan Todd. Black Mask, 2015. 9781628750843. Originally published as We Can Never Go Home #1 – #5. Publisher’s Rating: M / Mature.
1989. Duncan is outside of the small town where he goes to high school, shooting his father’s pistol, when he comes across a truck in which Ben is groping Madison. Ben catches Duncan peering in the window, and in the course of trying to start a fight he throws Madison to the ground. Big mistake. Madison’s eyes glow and shoot lightning, and she uses super strength to toss him through the window of his truck. He calls her a freak and drives off. She threatens Duncan, making it clear he shouldn’t tell anyone about what happened. But on their long walk home she comes clean about her powers. (She’s adopted, has no idea where she got them, and does not want to be a superhero. She just wants to leave town. And then Duncan tells her his secret: he can kill people with his mind. (Really?))
It’s not too far to a scene of old fashioned high school bullying, Duncan giving Madison a mix tape, a somewhat accidental murder, and them going on the run together. The problem is they need some cash, so they start robbing drug dealers. The authorities are soon after them, and so are others interested in using their powers.
There’s a lot to love in the book, particularly the bit where Duncan tries to get Madison to buy superhero clothes at a costume shop. The pacing is great, the violence is realistic, and when others with powers finally show up, it’s weird. It’s a really enjoyable YA adventure that’s a readalike for They’re Not Like Us and the classic Teenagers from Mars.