The Few #1
Writer: Sean Lewis
Artist: Hayden Sherman
Publisher: Image Comics
A review by Stephanie Pouliotte
“You cannot buy the revolution. You cannot make the revolution. You can only be the revolution. It is in your spirit, or it is nowhere.” – Ursula K. Le Guin
The latest sci-fi title from Image Comics, The Few #1 takes place in a dystopian future where the United States has fallen under the rule of a new administration called The Palace. Plagued by clean water shortages and internal strife, their control seems localized to the coasts. Most central and mountain states are now referred to as the badlands, where people congregate around savage warlords for protection and do whatever they need to survive. There are also rumors of a resistance growing in the Remainder States, of a militia that seeks to fight for what’s left of their country… and they are few.
In the cold, desolate forests of Montana, two brothers find a woman spattered with blood, clutching a baby in a gas mask and a revolver. Overcome with fatigue, she faints and they take it upon themselves to bring her and the infant boy to safety, but safety is always relative in the badlands.
I really enjoyed the pacing in this issue. Writer Sean Lewis weaves the story back and forth through time, revealing over the course of the issue the gruesome events that drove the young woman, Edan Hale, to the heart of the forest with nothing but a gun and a baby. Though it’s a bit difficult to connect with her character at first because we don’t know much about her. We only get glimpses of her personality, whereas the two survivors who rescue her have a clear brotherly dynamic that is immediately sympathetic to the reader. But the tension builds beautifully to the cliffhanger in the last panel, where the story really sinks its hooks into the reader and pulls us further into the mystery surrounding Hale.
Sherman’s artwork creates a cold and austere atmosphere that suits this dystopian narrative perfectly, and the minimal colouring gives this series a really distinctive look. It’s quite striking, especially during the more brutal scenes, and the stark winter landscape certainly sets this series apart from other post-apocalyptic fiction, exuding a hauntingly fragile beauty. That being said, at times some of the action was obscured by the detailed art style. This tripped up the flow a bit, as I had to go back over a few panels to really understand what was happening.
Buy It! If you’re into dystopian sci-fi, you should definitely check out The Few #1. As a limited maxi-series, the story is likely to progress fairly quickly. There are a lot of unanswered questions by the end of this first issue, and I for one can’t wait unravel the mystery of Edan Hale and find out who exactly are among the few.
The Few #1 will hit comic shops on Wednesday, January 18.