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Review: The Wilds #1

After a cataclysmic plague sweeps across America, survivors come together to form citystate-like communities for safety.

Daisy Walker is a Runner for The Compound, a mix of post-apocalyptic postal service and black market salvaging operation. It is a Runner’s job to ferry items and people between settlements, and on occasion scavenge through the ruins of the old world. Daisy is the best there is at what she does.

Out beyond the settlement walls are innumerable dangers: feral animals, crumbling structures, and Abominations — those that were touched by the plague and became something other. After a decade of surviving, Daisy isn’t phased by any of it — until her lover, another Runner named Heather, goes missing on a job. Desperate to find her, Daisy begins to see that there may be little difference between the world inside the walls and the horrors beyond.

Writer Vita Ayala manages to create an interesting post-apocalyptic story of love, and survival with The Wilds. The first issue doesn’t just focus on the bleak now but balances things by showing us a brief glimpse of the world before and a grander glimpse at the world that follows. Humanity survives in walled-in settlements trying to protect itself as it sends Runners out to gather supplies, messages, and trade and the main character Daisy seems to be one the best runners at her compound. It’s an interesting focus in that it feels like it puts the weight of the story on one person’s shoulders as opposed to a group. The stakes feel a bit higher in that way. And when her lover Heather questions her commitment, things get interesting. The fact Daisy is the best there is at what she does, her retiring makes it a bit more dire. If she quits, will this community fall apart? There’s a nice metaphor about society being built on the backs of hard laborer.

The art by Emily Pearson with color by Marissa Louise possesses an interesting offset balance of the falling apart world and the semblance of normality humanity fights to posses inside the compounds. The art also is the reveal about some of the creatures they call Abominations. Which seem to have flowers and other plant life growing out of thier skin, despite possessing human bodies. And that detail is about what we know of the affliction that has impacted humanity. It’s also enough to tell a story unto itself. The detail is subtle and the color helps that detail stand out.

The first issue is a good one diving into a familiar genre but delivering something that feels new and different.

Story: Vita Ayala Art: Emily Pearson Colors: Marissa Louise Covers: Natasha Alterici
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Black Mask Studio provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review