Review – Wild’s End: The Enemy Within #3 (of 6) (BOOM! Studios)

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writer: Dan Abnett
Artist: INJ Culbard
Release Date: 25th November, 2015

Things are most definitely hotting up in Dan Abnett and INJ Culbard’s Wild’s End as our heroes find themselves separated following the shocking events of the previous issue. With the group already well established from the previous series, Abnett takes gets pleasure here in arranging them into unusual combinations, leading to some wonderful verbal exchanges and interactions. Whether it’s Susan and Peter on the run, desperately trying to warn the nearby city or Fawkes and Alph leading the military to the site of the previous alien attack, Abnett’s wonderfully regional dialogue keeps the things flowing smoothly, with ample helpings of charm, humour and drama along the way.

Once again, this isn’t necessarily a series for readers who are looking for lashings of action, although if the previous series is anything to go by, there should still be plenty of that sort of thing before all’s said and done. No, this is a series that’s all about the characters; the wonderfully realised rural townsfolk who just so happen to be talking animals. From wide-eyed, shell-shocked youth Alph to burly, gruff Navy man Clive, each of these characters has a charm all of their own, and the rapidly escalating threat results in a deep sense of emotional investment on the part of the reader. Well, it does for me, anyway.

There’s something about the combination of anthropomorphic townsfolk and B-movie sci-fi excess that really works for me, much like the combination of Abnett and Culbard as creators. While the story still hasn’t touched on the whole “invasion of the bodysnatchers” premise that it was marketed as, at this point, it really doesn’t matter; the mystery is compelling, the tension is riveting – particularly during the latter pages of this issue – and the characters, as I mentioned before, are an utter joy to read.

Oh, and it should probably go without saying by now that Culbard’s artwork, with its impressive use of colour and bold, expressive characters, is absolutely glorious. Seriously, release a comic with artwork by Culbard, and I’ll buy it. It’s just that simple.

Overall then, while the story still hasn’t quite ratcheted itself into high gear, the subtle character development and glorious artwork still makes The Enemy Within an absolutely essential purchase for any and all fans of sequential storytelling. Yes, it’s talking animals battling aliens, and yes, I know that does sound odd, but just trust me on this one. Give it a try, and I’m supremely confident that you’ll love it.

Rating: 4.5/5.

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The writer of this piece was: 576682_510764502303144_947146289_nCraig Neilson-Adams (aka Ceej)
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