You read about cartels. You read about the violence and murder that exists south of our border. It sounds scary, frightening, and unimaginable. I know people whose family members went on vacation and simply didn’t come back alive. A location scout on Narcos was just found dead, riddled with bullets, sitting in their car. These little glimpses we see are a part of a much bigger problem that the innocent people of Mexico face and it's unreal. Mexico is not a war-torn country in the traditional sense, nor is it headed by religious extremists like places in the Middle East who want to start a war; however, a war has been raging there for some time. Sean Mackiewicz (writer) and Niko Walters (artist) use this landscape as a jumping-off point for a horror story that in their words, “ . . . is an attempt to process real-world horror, centuries of it, magnify it through genre, and learn from it.” They also say, “Gasolina is a story about Mexico. It’s about how countries impact each other. The war that’s about to erupt in these pages is a global one.” Those are some ambitious comments…and I like ambition in storytelling.
The first issue opens the door a mere crack into this world of “mega murder” with a child abduction. A new cartel is finding its foothold, but for all intents and purposes, they look more like a death cult. Our two heroes seem to want a peaceful life on a farm. Randy and Amilia are a couple, possibly a secret couple. That peace is disturbed when a few men who have been mortally wounded by what seems to be animal bites are carried in and shortly after Amalia’s nephew is kidnapped. The boy is the son of the man who owns the farm - an important man and it seems a wealthy man.
The final pages of the book ratchet up the horror factor, taking the horrors of the real world and adding a monster element in a very effective way. Throw in the budding undercurrent of some kind of occult, and I’m absolutely really intrigued to see where this story takes us.