Tag Archives: chunlin zhao

Review: Wretches Vol. 1


Wretches is a high octane science-fiction adventure published by Scout Comics. The first six issues of the series are now available in trade paperback. The plot of Wretches is like a cross between Blade Runner and Taken, but with a badass female protagonist. The storylines also reminded me of the novel that inspired Blade Runner, Philip K. Dick’s seminal “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” Some of the same themes are examined in the comic as in that novel, but with a backdrop of nearly non-stop action.

Created and written by James E. Roche, Wretches features complex storytelling. There are a lot of characters in play, but the main storyline focuses on sibling bounty hunters Sean and Shea. Even though Shea is a fictional character, I couldn’t help envying her abs and admiring her tenacity. I was very impressed with the interconnected storylines in this first arc. Roche’s narrative is full of shifting alliances and the resulting triumphs and betrayals. Roche also achieves an impressive amount of world-building in a limited number of pages. The scale of the setting is grand while the character interactions are satisfyingly intimate.

Salo Farias‘ artwork caught my attention within the first dozen pages. The comic opens with a chase scene that is superimposed over flashback images of Shea and Sean’s past. These overlapping images also blend well with the narration text boxes. There’s another well-plotted sequence in the third chapter where two scenes are depicted simultaneously. The panels on the left side of the page show one scene while the panels on the right show the other. These are just two examples of the synchronicity between Roches’ script and Farias’ artwork. However, there was one minor disconnect in their collaboration. There were times that I had difficulty telling a few of the robot characters apart.

I also really liked the architecture of the buildings. The structures look futuristic while still being obviously functional. The buildings aren’t bright and shiny either. Through Farias’ detail work the reader can see that the buildings have become worn by the planet’s elements and in places have fallen into disrepair. The robot’s encampment, an arrangement of decommissioned and interconnected spaceships was visually and architecturally interesting as well. Having finished the first volume of Wretches, I hope the series continues on from here. Roche has created a world rich with potential for more tales of sci-fi adventure. Hopefully this isn’t the last we’ll see of Sean and Shea.

Story: James E. Roche Art: Salo Farias
Colorist: Chunlin Zhao Letterer/Editor: Chas! Pangburn
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.3 Recommendation: Buy

Scout Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Purchase: Scout Comics

Scout Comics’ Wretches is Being Developed as a One Hour TV Series


Scout Comics & Entertainment Inc. has announced that Wretches, created and written by James E. Roche with line art by Salomon Farias and colors by Chunlin Zhao, is in development as a one-hour sci-fi adventure series by screenwriter Bianca Ursillo, with Andy Cohen of Grade A Entertainment and Scout Comics attached to executive produce.

Alone on the tough streets of an alien city, far from the lifeless planet they once called home, siblings Shea and Sean spent their youth struggling to survive. Still suffering emotionally from the loss of everything they’d ever known and loved, Shea and Sean have nothing else in the universe but each other. Forever outrunning the horrors of their past, they survive the only way they know how- by hunting and killing sentient robots for profit! Now, when the rough path that they had no chance to follow finally catches up to them, will they be able to keep each other safe or will they lose the only important thing they have left, each other?

Review: AA Squad #1

aa-squad-coverEvery now and then a comic comes into my inbox that I have absolutely no preconceived notion of what it is, and unless there’s a half interesting name or elevator pitch then sometimes I don’t always read it (usually it’s a case of “oh.. that could be cool. I’ll read that later,” but then life happens and I never get back to it.

I don’t remember what it was that made me want to read AA Squad #1 from Rob Wolinsky, other than maybe the opening of the email; the “Hello time travelers” immediately spoke to my fascination with time travel, so I dropped the review I was writing and opened up AA Squad #1.

It was absolutely nothing like I expected.

The comic focuses on a squad of time police who have to correct small aberrations in the timeline, key word being small. These guys aren’t the most decorated team, and are thought of and treated more like the Great Lakes Avengers as opposed to the actual Avengers. We’re introduced to the existing squad by the new guy Luke Adam Bean, and through him we see just how routine saving the time line has become for the others.

AA Squad #1 is two things right off the bat; charming and funny. As I said earlier, time travel is one of those things that will always intrigue me, but what I didn’t expect was how entertaining the comic would be. I genuinely found myself laughing at several points as I read this, both from Wolinsky’s writing, but also from the visual gags from artist Chunlin Zhao. Speaking of the art, there’s an almost manga-like feel along with a slight dash of stylized Western flavour that combine to give the art a very unique feeling that really works for this comic.

As far as first issues go, this is a fantastic introduction to a new story, and I can’t wait to read the second issue.

If you’d like to purchase a digital or print version then you can do so here.

Story: Rob Wolinsky Art: Chunlin Zhao
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Graphic Policy was provided with a FREE copy for review