- Posted by Johanna on July 21, 2008 at 11:08 pm
- Category: Indy Comic Reviews
- CREDITS: written by Marc Guggenheim; art by David Dumeer
- PUBLISHER: Oni Press; $3.50 US
As a side effect of my dislike of zombie stories, I’m not usually one for post-apocalyptic tales either. But this one’s got me hooked. I blame writer Marc Guggenheim’s experience on TV shows like The Practice and CSI: Miami; he clearly knows how to structure an installment so that it’s satisfying but brings you back next time. And artist David Dumeer’s got a talent for stories about destroying the world; he previously illustrated Armageddon & Son, about villains who wanted to do the same.
Seriously, his strength is drawing regular people in abnormal situations, and that’s the case here. Bug aliens invaded the earth. That’s standard sci-fi. What’s unusual is that this story picks up afterwards — the aliens have gone home, and the humans are venturing back out from underground to see what’s left of their world. People are still scared, posturing, aggressive, fearful, but as a reader, there’s a sense of really not knowing what’s going to happen to next. That’s truly rare in serial comics, and refreshing. It’s a new world in more ways than one.
I especially felt for Sara, setting out to see her son. There’s one page where she’s drawn as a static head shot, no eyes, just pools of shadow, while the background changes behind her to show her determination as she just keeps moving toward her goal. It’s a subtle technique but all the more powerful for it.
The setting still allows for creepy creatures and necessary violent acts, staples of science-fiction adventure, but it’s the strong sense of character that will bring me back. Aside from Sara’s road quest, there’s a scientist with a captured alien left behind, and political black humor with the denizens of the White House (currently housed at Mount Weather, the huge underground bunker).
Sara’s search is resolved promptly, a pleasant surprise in comparison to so many first issues that are all setup, but in a shocking way that demonstrates Guggenheim knows what he’s doing. In addition to setting up a dynamite premise and immediately involving characters, he’s also a master of the “where’s the next issue already?” cliffhanger.
If this sounds good, look for the next four issues, already out (because I am slow). They get even better.