"The Wilds #1" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Black Mask Studios
Written by Vita Ayala
Illustrated by Emily Pearson
Colored by Marissa Louise
2018, 36 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on February 28th, 2018
We've seen slow zombies and fast zombies, ones without legs, ones in the water and on land. The Wilds offers a different kind of undead and I wouldn't even call them zombies really. A horrifying disease swept around the world, leaving the infected as soulless walkers with flowers growing out of their bodies. Their emotionless faces are haunting and that's enough to creep you out from the beginning. We don't yet know what they're capable of or what they're looking for. They don't seem to want to eat flesh or brains.
The Wilds #1 takes some time to settle us into this post-apocalyptic landscape. We meet Daisy, who works as a runner for the Compound, basically like a courier of sorts to trade goods between communities. Her work helps the Compound survive by bringing in needed supplies like medicine. These runs have taken a toll on her though. You can see this in her eyes and face. Daisy has seen some shit.
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One detail of Daisy that really stands out is her uneasiness around other people. When she's speaking to anyone except close friends or her lover, Heather, she's looking elsewhere, like she's noting the exits or scanning the horizon for dangers. This plays up the survivalist aspect of her character. She's used to working alone and knows she can depend on herself, not so much other people.
We only get a glimpse as to the horrors of the outside world. The infected (aka Abominations) are pretty creepy, but they don't seem like a large threat. Society has definitely crumbled, but we haven't seen the extent of the damage just yet. Although the landscape is rough, the interior of the Compound is also rather unsettling, particularly the leader of the place. He seems rather controlling, like he could fly off the handle if you did something wrong or disobeyed him. There's something off there.
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Despite the dystopian world of The Wilds, Marissa Louise's colors infuse the book with life. Daisy is living and thriving in spite of the hardships society is facing. She's found love and purpose, which is more than most people could say in today's world, let alone in a post-apocalyptic one. Even the Abominations have a beauty to them. I mean, they're people with flowers all over their faces. That can be very captivating. It's the cold dead eyes that give it away.
One problem I have with this first issue is that some future aspects of the story have been spoiled by the solicitation information. It's odd because this twist isn't even in this chapter. It will serve as a catalyst for where the plot goes next though. As it stands, The Wilds #1 provides a spotlight on an intriguing character, giving us time to understand her and the challenges she faces. I'm looking forward to learning more about this world and how it came to such disarray.