North 40 #1 and 2

North 40 is a six-issue WildStorm miniseries that began in July. It’s written by Aaron Williams (PS238) with art by Fiona Staples.

North 40 #1

North 40 #1

When I first heard about it at the Emerald City ComiCon, I thought it was “about folks with superpowers living in a rural county”, but it’s more horror-influenced than your usual superhero comic. (Which probably explains why it’s getting most of its good press from horror blogs; here’s one of the best reviews.) The premise is that a rural Midwestern town finds its inhabitants transformed by a Lovecraftian horror when two bored students open the wrong mysterious book.

The strength of this series is the characterization. Readers almost instantly understand the personalities due to the combination of well-chosen, uniquely voiced dialogue and the great art (especially the character designs). They start as stereotypes — the well-meaning country sheriff, the tyrannical town drunk, the young woman who wants to save the day, the mayor’s son on the make, the young waitress who dreams of more — but their familiarity serves to involve the reader quickly. And then they get tentacles or x-ray vision or fangs with a taste for human flesh or become zombies. Some become monsters, and others battle them.

My favorite part of the series is when the citizens try to keep on with their daily life, regardless of their new abilities. They still want to leave town — but now they can’t, due to a mystical barrier — or they stumble home hungover or they hold petty grudges they want to work out with their powers or the kids hold their weekend dance. Issue #4 is due out October 7, or you may want to wait for the likely collection at this point in order to get the whole story.

3 Responses to “North 40 #1 and 2”

  1. Rob Says:

    Of course, 40’s an east-west highway; there *is* no 40 North.

    Interesting-sounding story, though. I’ll keep an eye open for the inevitable collection.

  2. Johanna Says:

    You’re right, and they messed up using the interstate logo, but I thought “North 40″ was also a common name for part of a field. “I’m going to mow the north 40 (acres)”, that kind of thing.

  3. Mystery Society #1 » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] cover (the brighter couple one) by interior artist Fiona Staples (who has previously drawn North 40, among other things). […]




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