The Wilds #1
Writer: Vita Ayala
Artist: Emily Pearson
Colorist: Marissa Louise
Letterer: Jim Campbell
Publisher: Black Mask Studios
Review by Greg Brothers
Over the last couple of years, Black Mask studios have put out some top-notch books. Many of the books have taken some crazy concepts and turned them up to eleven. So, when I heard about The Wilds #1 I wondered if once again the company would be able to deliver on their take of a post-apocalyptic world.
The Wilds #1 introduces us to Daisy. She is what is called a runner. The runner’s job is to pick up and deliver supplies and messages between various reinforced safehouses throughout this new world. The main one of these safehouses is called The Compound. While not much is revealed about the compound in The Wilds #1, what is revealed is that they might not be the savior that humanity needs.
Daisey has come to believe that without her help as a runner people living within the compound and various outposts may not survive. Her girlfriend Heather has grown to have other feeling about the compound. That being, they do not owe anything to the people running the compound and should instead move on to live happily together.
Ayala makes a crucial decision by focusing on the people and the relationships in The Wilds #1 rather than focusing on the disease itself. The first few pages and panels give a brief overview of what happened, but it is never explained how the disease spreads or what it does to its victims. The focus on Daisy allows Ayala to begin to focus on the human experience from the very beginning. Doing this makes The Wilds #1 stand out from the glut of zombie type books and shows that are out there.
Pearson’s art for The Wilds #1 is beautifully simple. Simple and muted backgrounds allow for the characters and details to stand out. Pearson’s characters while younger in attitudes and actions are finished with stress lines and blemishes that one would expect in people who are fighting for their life every day. As beautiful as the art is, it is a bit stiff at times. For many panels this is not a problem. However, when the panel calls for action, the characters feel inauthentic. Thankfully the colors, designs, and style more than make up for those few rogue panels.
Verdict: Buy it.
The Wilds #1 kicks off what feels like an original take on a zombie-like apocalypse. The diverse cast only helps add to the originality of the story. Pearson’s take on the plague is strikingly beautiful while also being disturbing.