Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writer: Phillip Kennedy Johnson
Colours: Miquel Muerto
Letters: Jim Campbell
Release Date: 17th October 2018
After a nuclear strike devastates America, five children are left stranded in a desolate wilderness when the bus taking them to San Francisco runs out of fuel and their driver leaves them. Unprepared for the long journey ahead the group must work together to survive while avoiding The Tommies and bands of desperate deserters.
Having found shelter and safety in a house that mysteriously appeared during the sand storm and their flight from the deserters, the group soon discover that things are not what they seem. Emma can’t continue to hide her brother Ben’s amazing powers. Shawn and Angela explore the town and Aamir discovers a strange journal that could reveal the secrets to the strange goings on in Custers Wake.
I have no idea where to start with this comic, as it’s got so much going on. This is a post-apocalyptic saga with supernatural themes, aspects of The Walking Dead, aspects of Silent Hill, aspects of Resident Evil, there’s even hints of an alien presence and it’s all bundled up with a group of kids that could fill out 800 pages of any good Stephen King book.
Phillip Kennedy Johnson (Warlords of Apalachia, The Power of the Dark Crystal, Last Sons of America) has taken a tired concept and created something very interesting. I wasn’t expecting a lot from this when I picked it up but two issues in I’m desperate to know where this is going and how big the reveals are going to be in the coming story. With a story arc of just five issues there’s so much going on here and any one of the themes I’ve picked up so far could turn out to be a red herring. It’s really refreshing to read a story where I seriously have no clue where we’re going next.
The artwork really reinforces the fact that this story is being told from the perspective of a group of kids. Flaviano manages to produce some wonderful highlights in a world that should be bleak and full of despair, from Ben’s clockwork bird to the junkyard sculptures of the recently discovered and slightly eccentric Harm. The proportions make everything around them bigger and more threatening, the shadows deeper and the adults they encounter much more frightening. Miquel Muerto (La Senda De Los Druidas, Strange Kids Club) does a great job of the colouring, really helping to capture the magical and supernatural moments in the story as a contrast to the post-apocalyptic world the kids are trying to survive.
With three issues left to go, I can only imagine that we have something spectacular coming our way and I for one am really looking forward to seeing how this is going to develop.
The writer of this piece was: Mark Scott
Mark Tweets from @macoy_comicgeek