The indie comics scene has become even more diverse in content and plot over the past few years. Much like the current state of television (which is being labeled a “Golden Age” by some), indie comics are attempting to reach a much wider audience these days, and the spoils of this trend come in the form of original, unexpected, and exciting comics like the newly released Dayglow, created by David Hahn and published by Publish Enemies.
Dayglow follows a young, Latin American man named Javier as a crumbling America attempts to fight off the rapidly spreading Narbala 5 virus. When the lack of a workable antidote threatens the possibility of human extinction, a secret plan referred to as “Dayglow” is put into effect. According to the plan, specifically chosen individuals will be cryogenically frozen for three years, outliving the Narbala 5 virus and the rest of humanity. When three years have passed, the “Dayglow” individuals plan to emerge and rebuild human society with the structures and technology left behind. Unfortunately, not everything goes as planned . . .
Hahn has a great premise in Dayglow, and given the current (and unnecessary) concerns of an Ebola outbreak within U.S. borders, the plot feeds off the public concern of an Outbreak or Andromeda Strain-like national emergency. Hahn’s first issue is rock solid in structure, never missing a beat and establishing an epic and harrowing tale of life after the fall of civilization. While the post-apocalyptic genre may be reaching a point of saturation for some sci-fi fans, Hahn pumps new blood into the medium and delivers a number of unexpected “gut-punches” in just the first issue. In the end, Dayglow feels like event television in comic book form (I half expected to read ‘Executive Producer J.J. Abrams on the credits page.’), but with a Walking Dead-type edge to it.
The second issue pushes the plot in a number of unexpected directions, further introducing us to the military squad that assumes control, post-freezer nap, and lead the rest into a world where they may be the only humans left alive. I don’t want to spoil too much for eager readers, but Dayglow #2 also features a chilling “night vision” scene that smacks of the terrifying creature feature, The Descent.
When it comes to the artwork of Dayglow, Hahn’s style is a little simplistic but works really well the real-world feel of the series. While the quality of Hahn’s plot and dialogue certainly help the story, Hahn also knows how to use his visuals alone, when necessary, which brings a cinematic feel to the book. In addition, Hahn’s excellent detail in his depictions of buildings, tech, and underground structures, as well as his excellent coloring job, really bring the artwork up a notch.
While Dayglow is definitely a solid release from Publish Enemies, I did notice a few minor rough edges that could be corrected. First, while Hahn appears very talented in the writing and art departments, Dayglow could definitely benefit from the skills of a professional letterer. While not something every reader will notice, the lettering is at a lesser level than the rest of the book, so most indie comic creators (and some very detail-oriented comic book fans) are sure to notice. I also must point out that the cover to Dayglow #1 features a major spoiler for the end of the issue, which I also think may have been a mistake. In both cases, these missteps are minor, and I promise that they won’t ruin Dayglow for any of my fellow comic book sniffers.
FINAL VERDICT: Fans of post-apocalyptic, human dramas (think The Walking Dead sans zombies) or epic disaster flicks (Armageddon, Deep Impact, The Day After Tomorrow) will surely enjoy Dayglow. While I have no idea where this series is heading, given the twists and turns of the second issue, it has certainly piqued my interest, and I’m sure it will do the same to others. Also, if you absolutely need a little sci-fi/horror in your genre entertainment, there may not be any zombies in Dayglow, but Hahn’s tale won’t leave you high and dry when it comes to your “monster” addiction.
Dayglow is only available digitally at the current time, but you can purchase copies of Issues #1 and #2 on Amazon and ComiXology. Links for purchase and more info on Dayglow can be found at the official Publish Enemies website. You can also follow Publish Enemies on Facebook and Twitter (@PublishEnemies).
That’s all for now, comic book sniffers. And, when entering the choppers, remember this – Dayglow right, all others left.
‘Till the end of the world,
-Bryant the Comic Book Slayer