In post-apocalyptic San Diego, only two groups of humans exist: The Wicked and The Righteous. Four brothers (Matt, Lucas, Mark, and Johnny) and their uncle are just trying to get through life on this wasteland of violence and brutality when they are all attacked then miraculously saved by a stranger.
Writer Terry Mayo’s characterization in this issue is on point. Billy, the ass of a teenager that Lucas finds, has some serious anger issues. I mean, I’ve seen angry, but this kid gets angry for barely any rational reason. Talk about the wicked! Something tells me this isn’t the last we’ll be seeing of Billy—at least I hope it’s not.
Let’s take a look at the brothers. Lucas serves as somewhat of a protagonist in this issue, or at least, we see him the most. In the beginning of the story, he gives food to a likely homeless girl while on his way to get an inhaler for Johnny. Then he finds a 13-year-old jerk but is even nice to him! Despite being a hint of a “loose cannon,” Lucas has good intentions. His only downfall might be that he is a bit impulsive, taking action without thinking it all the way through.
Matt is the responsible one of the bunch, always wanting to play things tactically and with a safety net. He asserts dominance over Lucas, and the two butt heads a lot.
Mark is just a dorky kid with a lot of heart. We don’t see much of Uncle Abe, Johnny, or Tammy (whom Johnny spends his time with, at home). For the time being, though, Lucas and Matt give us enough confliction to stay interested.
The storyline is actually really interesting. Biological warfare wiped out the Earth’s population, save for two groups. The disease that wiped out nearly everyone did a good job of doing so, but didn’t affect children. What kind of toxins could do that? Were they designed and/or manipulated to keep children alive? Growing up without adults to guide them, these children are the future of the world. That concept in itself is enough for one Hell of a horror story. Mix in some science fiction, and you’ve got a masterpiece.
The only qualm I have with the writing is one or two awkward transitions that seem like they jump a little too much forward in time. They don’t take away from the storyline, but they do interrupt the flow of the script. Even so, this is a great script that leaves us hanging, wanting more.
Lucas Romero’s pencils are rather unrealistic. The lack of realism in the characters definitely takes away from the dramatic impact of the plot, but the cartoonish art style allows him to create very emphatic reactions in his characters. This means they show emotion, but aren’t necessarily the most relatable. There isn’t much detail in the backgrounds; a lot of panels are left one color or one wall of a building with no texture or anything. This isn’t a bad thing, per se, but it would give the issue a lot more character.
Christopher Hall’s colors bring this issue together. Mayo’s comparison of the scenery to a dying campfire couldn’t be more accurate, and that’s all thanks to Hall and his use of deep shadows mixed with altering warm and cool colors.
This issue is aesthetically pleasing, intellectually stimulating, and very entertaining. For fans of science fiction and/or post-apocalyptic stories, this is definitely a must-read book. If the rest of the series is anything like this issue, we’re in for a treat!
Written by: Terry Mayo
Illustrated by: Lucas Romero