Illustrated by Alexandre Tefenkgi, colored by Lee Loughridge
In a time after the apocalypse, Mezzy is part of the Wasteland Rangers, a group that is part boy-scouts, part doomsday-preppers. She, however, is determined to find her way to the fabled Oasis where everything will be plentiful. Along the way, she takes refuge from pursuing Rangers in a giant tower, where she meets Maceo. Maceo is an inventive young person with tons of television entertainment options, a tape recorder where he records messages to his quarantined (and dead) parents, and loads of vending machines full of candy and treats. He tries to entice Mezzy to stay, but she refuses. Instead, Maceo packs up a giant pile of his belongings, gives one last message to his parents, and follows Mezzy out into the Wasteland, despite her refusal to travel together. Over the next few weeks, Mezzy constantly saves Maceo from wasteland disasters and reluctantly teaches him how to survive, but Maceo shares his hoard of treasures and helps Mezzy understand what it means to live.
There are lots of apocalypse stories hitting the market these days, but this one shines with its Odd Couple main characters, compelling backstories, and meaningful but sparse world-building. Aaron isn’t seeking to explain how the world got to this point, although there are a few moments where he takes aim at some Modern-Day rhetoric flying around cable news channels. Instead, he and Tefenkgi build something akin to Fallout - where survival is important and fighting against the bad guys is more secondary. There are also a few flash-forward sequences (illustrated by Nick Dragotta and colored by Rico Renzi), that prove the far future is something entirely different that we’re building towards, so it will be interesting to see where volume two goes and how Maceo and Mezzy end up the way they do in these sequences.
There is lots of cussing, gruesome violence on the page, and some pretty philosophically heavy topics despite Maceo trying to keep things light. This might be a good read-along with Parable of the Sower for some conversation on religious fundamentalism after the apocalypse, and would be best suited for mature readers.
Sara's Rating: 8/10
Suitability Level: Grades 12-Adult
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Publication Date: June 13, 2023
ISBN: 9781684159079 (Paperback)
Tags: Rating: 8/10, Suitability: High School, Suitability: Adult, Comicbooks, Dystopian, Survival, BOOM! Studios
I've been reading manga and comicbooks for years. Now, I write reviews and other helpful things for School Librarians, teachers, parents, and students.
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