Publisher: Alterna Comics
Writer: Terry Mayo
Artwork: Lucas Romero (Pencils and Inks), Chris Hall (Colours)
Release Date: 12th January 2017
Scheduled for release next week on Comixology, The Wicked Righteous is set in a post-apocalyptic world where a biological attack has pushed the world to the brink of extinction. It tells the story of four teenage brothers trying to survive in this harsh, unforgiving world, and this first issue sees them attempting to rescue a young girl from a gang of psychopaths, sparking off a maelstrom of violence and brutal ramifications in the process.
Unfortunately, while this is a solid enough opening issue, writer Terry Mayo doesn’t hit the strength of his premise – the fact that it only seems to be killers and children who have survived – anywhere near hard enough, resulting in this first issue feeling like fairly paint-by-numbers post-apocalyptic fare. On reading the solicitation info, it’s clear that there’s a thoroughly intriguing story waiting to be told here, but from the perspective of a casual reader picking this one up blind, I’m just not sure there’s enough meat on the bones yet to warrant sticking with the series beyond the first issue.
As apocalyptic stories go, however, the structure and character development is sound. We get glimpses of the world before the biological agent takes hold, and the artistic partnership of Lucas Romero and Chris Hall do a solid job of conveying the emotional heft that goes hand in hand with children suddenly becoming orphans. They also do a sterling job with the violence-filled closing pages of the issue, a feat which is doubly impressive when you consider the slightly exaggerated, almost cartoony style of Romero’s pencils and inks – gritty realism this definitely isn’t, but he and Hall still manage to hammer home the emotional and storyline beats of the book with style.
So, to summarise; the characterisation is sound, the artwork is solid, and the story is well paced and intriguing enough – for what it is. It’s just frustrating that this first issue doesn’t really touch on the book’s unique selling point, leaving The Wicked Righteous as a polished but ultimately forgettable post-apocalyptic romp. I’ll definitely be sticking with it to see how the rest of the series pans out, but I’m not sure if a great many casual readers will be doing the same, which is a real shame.