Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Review - Lone Wolf 2100 #1 (@DarkHorseComics)

"Steady. Be brave."

An android is a good friend to have. They blend together some aspects of both humans and robots, creating a being that can be sympathetic at points and calculating at others. Relying on an android at the end of the world is something else entirely though, yet that's what Dark Horse Comics is doing in Lone Wolf 2100 #1. The issue is written by Eric Heisserer, illustrated by Miguel Sepulveda and colored by Javier Mena.

AD 2100: A devastating manmade plague is turning the human race into cannibalistic monsters known as the Thrall. But there is hope: young Daisy Ogami’s blood holds the secret to a cure—if Itto, her android protector, can get her to a place where it can be extracted!

Apocalypse tales are becoming a dime a dozen, but Lone Wolf 2100 #1 feels a little different. Heisserer spends most of the issue getting the reader up to speed on the events that have gotten the world to the point where its at. He jumps back and forth between past and present in an effort to further expound upon that setting, presenting Itto as a somewhat non-traditional last man on Earth. It's clear through Itto's actions and the dialogue of others that Daisy Ogami is pretty important, but Heisserer doesn't let the reader in on why exactly. It's to read Lone Wolf 2100 #1 and not think about I Am Legend, but Heisserer does manage to make the book feel a little fresher.

Sepulveda's illustrations have manga flairs peppered throughout. The Thrall look to be a cross between vampires and goblins, but there's really no incidents that make them out to be savage creatures. Sepulveda does manage to populate quite a few panels with a ton of the Thrall, which does reinforce their imposing nature by sheer numbers alone (if by nothing else). Some of the flashback scenes have a science feel to them, as Sepulveda illustrates the explanations as to how to deal with the outbreak with a rudimentary approach. The colors by Mena are largely blues and reds, with Itto's red cloak cutting against the pale blue Thrall.

Lone Wolf 2100 #1 is an interesting adaptation that blends its manga influences with a more apparent comic book approach. The issue gives the reader plenty of context for respecting Itto's ability, but there are other mysteries that are left, well, mysterious. Heisserer's script is pretty straightforward and lays out all the facts of the series without really giving the reader anything of substance (aside from a cliffhanger). Sepulveda's illustrations are concise and effectively handle the action. Lone Wolf 2100 #1 blends together aspects of various pandemic tales in a way that feels like it has different stakes.

Lone Wolf 2100 #1 is in stores January 6.


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