If this was how the west was won, I’m glad I wasn’t there to see it.
When aliens invade the old west, Captain William Beadle decides to lead the battle and organizes the building of a giant mechanical steam man to destroy them and protect Earth. They are successful but soon learn that they were helped along by the Earth’s germs—fatal to the invaders; however, they soon discover a greater threat is upon them. Known as “The Dark Rider,” he has unleashed Hell on Earth in the form of cannibalistic beasties with a very familiar name. Captain Beadle’s mission changes and becomes personal when “The Dark Rider” brutally murders his wife. Joined by Mike Hamner (his first officer), Alfred Blake (the engineer), and John Feather (the navigator), they travel a road that takes no prisoners.
We last saw the White Wizard track his daughter (and the formulary) to what remains of New York City. Kidnapping Anthony Farrow and taking him with him, the White Wizard runs into a gang called the “Down Boys” in the Bronx. He negotiates a deal with them to find safe passage into the heavily protected and sealed off city (now called Saved New York City). Meanwhile, Chloe has escaped the clutches of Hazeltyne, and Inspector Deal must face the consequences of her failure to retrieve the formulary.
We are back with Stephen Stern and Matt and John Yuan’s less-than-efficient team of process servers in Serving Supes, but this time they may have a real shot at success; however, that’s only because they actually have the address of the person they are supposed to serve.
The White Wizard (a.k.a. Dr. Reasons) may no longer be a threat, but Inspector Deal discovers the moisture farm has more insidious secrets. The good doctor has bonded the snow formulary to his daughter, Chloe, and he has tried to use Anthony Farrow to jumpstart his own powers. Taking Chloe and the formulary back to the Cooperative, the Inspector abandons the hapless college student Anthony Farrow to his own fate. I don’t think Inspector Deal ever had a day like this.
I’ve wanted to read this for a while, so I found it most auspicious when I was offered the chance to review the trade paperback of Volume One (Library Edition). It possesses many of the things I like in a story: scifi, mystery, and a post-apocalyptic world. Written by Brian Wood with most of the art done by Kristian Donaldson and Garry Brown, it offers up a world not far off from our own.
You know the saying, “Be careful what you wish for?” Inspector Deal may have gotten more than she bargained for after having successfully tracked down Dr. Reason (a.k.a. the White Wizard) on his moisture farm.
A drought-stricken future has made snowfall rare, precious, and controlled. For ten years the fate of mankind has rested in the hands of the Cooperative States of America and the Hazeltyne Corporation. But, when a terrorist known as the White Wizard reappears to wreak havoc again, Inspector Davitka Deal is sent to track him down before the death toll rises. Unfortunately, college student Anthony Farrow has found him first, and he is not what he expected.
Like all childhood bedtime stories, this one begins as a fantasy. But, this one is about the White Wizard, a being capable of bringing snow to a land that has forgotten what if feels like to be kissed by tiny ice droplets falling from the sky. But, what if the White Wizard was real? And, what if Hazeltyne, the corporation controlling the “Cooperative States of America,” knew it and was willing to do anything to stop him?