Phillip Kennedy Johnson, writer
Miguel Muerto, colors
Jim Campbell, letters
This is a story about a group of child-refugees, whose families all died due to an apocalyptic event. They discover a magical world while searching for a safe home. In this issue, the finale of the arc, the young heroes fight a group of alien-infected adults who are led by a character named “Godslinger.” They are in a magical world, which they accessed through a room in an abandoned-looking home in issue #2. The battle is fantastic but the results are “for real.” In this world, if you kill something, you take on their attributes, both their strengths and their deficiencies. The young siblings, Emma and Ben, protect themselves and their cohorts Shawn, Angel, and Amir. One of the group is lost when they sacrifice themselves, which allows the group to escape the magical alien world and the threats that live there.
The family connections increase the meaning-making and emotional depth of the characters. However, it’s their status as aliens and refugees that introduces a feeling of desperation. Ironically, their world is inhabited by creatures from another dimension, and this twist helps to flush out the deeper themes. These themes include the need for protection, basic safety, and meeting basic physical needs which are all threatened by aliens insatiable hunger for more resources. The writer is careful to stay within the boundaries of the story by making these themes about the characters and about the larger story narrative despite the obvious connections to our current socio-political climate in America.
The art supports this kind of story. The aliens are crude but colorful and the landscapes are expanded in parts and intimate in others. At times the palate feels a bit cluttered and muddled. However, the overall visual aesthetic is strong. My favorite part visually is the panels that show the young characters, like Emma, whose face is filled with emotion as she cries out for her brother in the midst of a huge battle sequence. This is a fun and interesting coming of age, post-apocalyptic story, which I highly recommend. Overall = 8.5/10