Publisher: AfterShock Comics
Writer(s): Inaki Miranda, Roy Miranda
Artwork: Inaki Miranda
Colours: Eva de la Cruz
Lettering: Dave Sharpe
Release Date: 14th October 2020
[WARNING: Contains minor spoilers]
The human race is just five days from extinction. A series of cascading events, from climate collapse to rampaging mutations to a brutal world war, have left just ten percent of the world’s population alive. And now, a message from the furthest reaches of space – another attack is coming, and this time the world will not survive.
However, a glimmer of hope for humanity’s future is offered at the same time. 5,000 children will be spared, being provided safe passage to a new planet and given a fresh start via nine ‘Extraction Beacons’ placed around the globe – so long as they are wearing one of the rescue bracelets which have been dropped at random spots across the planet.
This new AfterShock Comics series, from the brother duo of Inaki and Roy Miranda, follows the journey of bracelet-wearer Hototo and his older sister Tala as they make their way from their home to a distant Extraction Beacon, accompanied by several other children, each with their own companion, and one rather formidable bus driver.
As set-ups go, this is a fairly strong one, and the exposition delivery as the aforementioned driver stares wearily at a cheery, Fallout-esque ‘Civil Defence Announcement’, is remarkably effective. Sure, there are a lot of familiar tropes here, but they’re blended together in such a way as to keep things feeling fairly fresh throughout – something Inaki Miranda’s striking artwork really helps with.
The real meat of the story comes from the relationship between Hototo and Tala. On her mother’s deathbed, Tala promised that she would keep her little brother’s innocence alive for as long as possible, and as such she has kept the real meaning and consequences of their journey from him. You see, Tala doesn’t have a bracelet, so she will have to stay behind as her brother is “saved”, but she is still willing to risk absolutely everything to keep him safe.
As I mentioned, the aesthetic is a striking one, with the slightly cartoony feel and vibrant colour palette courtesy of Eva de la Cruz giving the book a lively look which belies its more mature themes. The character designs are great, particularly when it comes to Hototo himself, decked out in his superhero outfit and full of wide-eyed innocence, but also when it comes to the many and varied threats from the fauna of the “new” world.
Another impressive offering from AfterShock Comics then, with strong character motivations and an intriguing premise ensuring that readers picking up this first issue will be absolutely hooked from the outset. Taking a look at the end of the world through the innocent eyes of a child, We Live provides a fresh take on the post-apocalyptic genre, and as such is an easy series to recommend.
[UNLETTERED PREVIEW ARTWORK – CLICK TO ENLARGE]