"Sally of the Wasteland #1" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Titan Comics
Written by Victor Gischler
Illustrated by Tazio Bettin
2014, 24 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on July 30th, 2014
The world is in pretty bad shape 82 years after the Fall. People are doing what they can to get by in this dystopian landscape. If that means wrestling a giant catfish to pay a bar tab, so be it. This is literally where Sally of the Wasteland starts. The title character is a shotgun-toting local that's found some semblance of happiness in Southern Louisiana, crushing hard on a kid named Tommy, who seems oblivious to that fact. Things seem alright until a woman named Kat falls into their lives and changes everything with the key to possibly rebooting civilization.
No details have been revealed just yet as to what exactly the Fall was. We don't know why it's called that or how it went down. Presumably it's the fall of society as a whole because the world looks like a real shithole. There are stories of river pirates, mutant cannibals, and “the strangers,” although none of them are actually seen. What you do get to feast your eyes on, aside from the aforementioned giant crawfish, are the “crawgators” which are pretty much exactly what you think they are. They're downright terrifying and definitely an excuse to stay inside.
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With all this horror lurking just outside of their small town, why would Sally and her friends leave in the first place? Each of them leaves for a different reason, but it seems like they all boil down to not having anything else to do. Captain Sam is the one with the ship. so he's getting paid for this voyage. Tommy wants an adventure and Sally wants to keep him safe from harm.
Sally walks a fine line between adorably funny and incredibly annoying. Her jokes can be rather hit or miss. Between the lovelorn looks at Tommy and her penchant for large firearms, she reminds me of Harley Quinn. Life is a bit of a joke to her, but she's not about to be the punchline. Sally is tough, but other strong female leads like Cassie Hack or Buffy would eat her alive. The only motivation she's shown throughout this first issue is to be close to Tommy, who barely notices her. It's clear that she can take care of herself, but her main reason for being at this point in the story is because of a man.
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Tazio Bettin absolutely kills it on art for Sally of the Wasteland. All of these huge mutant creatures look both realistic and ridiculous. Seriously, just picture for a moment four grown men trying desperately to knock out a giant catfish in the middle of a bar. It's dangerous but also insane. That can help sum up the setting of this book.
There's a copious amount of cheesecake on display to go with all of the monsters. Sally is borderline sleazy with her jean cut-offs and tied up tank top. There's an uncomfortable conversation surrounding her lower back tattoo and what it means. The word “poop-chute” comes up. Additionally, both Kat and Sally are fully nude by the end of the issue.
Sally of the Wasteland has an interesting setting but a thin premise. The maguffin leaves much to be desired, however I'm looking forward to exploring the further aspects of this post-apocalyptic world and learning more about what caused society to fall apart.