Let’s be honest, it feels like there’s a new comic set in an apocalyptical world every week. It’s a genre unto itself at this point. Each attempts to deliver their own spin on the concept or focuses on something to stand out. Once Upon a Time at the End of the World #1 is exactly that as we’re introduced to a world that looks like garbage has overrun everything and what exactly has happened is a mystery.
Written by Jason Aaron, Once Upon a Time at the End of the World #1 is an interesting start. Aaron leaves the world as a mystery with the art telling much of that story. Where it stands out is the characters. Aaron keeps things simple initially launching the series as a “buddy road trip” with two characters who don’t initially get along.
There’s a very cute aspect to what Aaron delivers and it’s enhanced by the fact that the world they’re set in is so trashy and depressing. Maceo and Mezzy, our duo, are exactly what you’d expect in this odd couple. One is very socially awkward having been stuck in a building by themself. The other is a hardened warrior who has spent their time surviving in the wasteland. Aaron keeps things pretty basic and expected when it comes to that. But, where Aaron’s writing stands out is the small details for the two. Each has their own quirks and personality that makes it an entertaining read. But more importantly, there’s some tragedy, especially with Maceo, that creates depth. One panel is all it takes for readers to understand Maceo’s quirky personality and feel sorry for the kid.
That panel is delivered by Alexandre Tefenkgi. With color by Lee Loughridge and lettering by Andworld Design, the debut issue is packed with detail. This is a world that looks “lived in”, really destroyed. Garbage is thrown everywhere. Strange creatures stalk our heroes. The technology looks slapped together. It’s visuals packed with detail that makes it all look real and worn down.
Where the comic dips a little is the end. That features art by Nick Dragotta and colorist Rico Renzi. The duo will take over in later issues. The segment gives us a glimpse of what the future holds, an ominous mix of visuals and dialogue that tells us where things are going. The mystery is revealed a bit too soon and this sort of ending feels a bit overused at this point. Still, the art again provides so much detail you want to see how we got to this point. The scars hint at a hell of a story.
Once Upon a Time at the End of the World #1 is an entertaining start. The characters are cute and quirky and the world is packed with detail. While overall it’s not the most original story, it’s a debut that feels like a fleshed out and thought out world. One, with a lot of thought put into it and that should make for an interesting journey to come.
Story: Jason Aaron Art: Alexandre Tefenkgi, Nick Dragotta
Color: Lee Loughridge, Rico Renzi Letterer: Andworld Design
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy
BOOM! Studios provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
Purchase: TFAW – Zeus Comics – comiXology/Kindle