"The Few #1" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Image Comics
Written by Sean Lewis
Illustrated by Hayden Sherman
2016, 56 Pages, $4.99
Comic released on January 18th, 2017
It's a little scary how believable dystopian fiction is becoming with each passing day. For the time being, we can still enjoy comics like The Few as they take us on a journey to a futuristic wasteland where the world has fallen apart. A few lone survivors are trying to get by any way they can. In the case of this book, that centers on a pair of brothers and a woman they've found in the woods clutching a baby with a gas mask. If that isn't enough to grab you, just wait until the final page where everything changes.
There's an ever-present feeling of loneliness and desperation that flows through every page of The Few. These people are in the middle of the wilderness with nothing but trees and snow for as far as the eye can see. There are no buildings or landmarks. Civilization has presumably crumbled.
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Much of this comes through in Hayden Sherman's artwork. It's presented in black, white, and beige, with occasional splashes of red. It gives the book a cold, lifeless feeling that is juxtaposed against the characters struggling just to live another day. The color (or lack thereof) works well in setting the tone for the series.
This makes the appearance of any other living creature somewhat alarming and intimidating. You don't know their intentions. They could be friend or foe. They're all wearing masks or some sort of facial coverings, so it's impossible to get a read on them.
Sherman's character designs are thin and angular. It makes them look tense at all times, like they're ready to pounce at a moment's notice. There is no relaxation in this world. His pencils are loose, which aids in the pace of the story. The characters are constantly in motion. I especially like the look of the masked characters. The masks look a bit like the Tusken Raiders from Star Wars, but somehow with less emotion.
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This oversized opening issue of The Few has a number of twists and turns to the story. It plays with first impressions and then turns them on their head. You may think you've figured out a character only to find that they're not who they seem. This works in multiple ways, swaying from antagonist to protagonist and vice versa. It's a nice effect that keeps the reader on their toes.
The Few is a gripping post-apocalyptic tale with dynamite artwork to match. It instantly drops you into this story, keeping you guessing at every page turn. We don't know what caused the world to reach such dire straits, but in a way, it doesn't matter. Right now it's all about survival and how this handful of characters is going to get by.