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‘Wild’s End Volume 1: First Light’ – Advance TPB Review

I love this book.  Period.  I could end the review right there and would be editorially correct.  I love this book.

In fact, there is nothing I dislike about this book.  There is nothing to dislike about this book.  It is borderline perfect . . . in the writing, in the art, in the coloring, in the pacing, in the tone . . . this trade paperback collection of a 6-part story from BOOM! Studios by Dan Abnett and I.N.J. Culbard is simply fantastic.

Abnett, who is best known for his groundbreaking work on Guardians of the Galaxy, and Culbard, illustrator on H.P. Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness, have created a story – told brilliantly through words, art, and color – that is both unique and time-tested.  But, while the story feels familiar, it is still clearly something new, mostly due to the setting (the 1930s) and the characters (anthropomorphized and British).

In the fictional world of Wild’s End, we meet the citizens of the tiny hamlet of Lower Crowchurch, a six-centuries-old village in the middle of what is clearly a representation of 1930s England’s countryside.

The characters run the gamut of animal stereotypes: the gruff hound (Clive Slipaway); the hyper rabbit (Gilbert Arrant); the nosy mink (Peter Minks); the sly fox (Fawkes); the neurotic cat (Susan Peardew); and the clumsy pig (Alph Swagger).

NO SPOILERS: The story involves a strange meteor that falls to the ground and, upon investigation, turns out to be the beginnings of an alien invasion.  The aliens, in the form of small, arachnid-like attackers, begin burning up the locals.  Our fearless team sets in motion a plan that ends the hostilities while bringing this disparate group of locals together. 

There are two characteristics that really set this story apart.  The writing is flawless . . . from the choice of diction given our characters to the genuinely rendered English countryside’s ticks and mannerisms given the dialogue.  It is a real hoot to read the words and try to affect the appropriate accent that you know they speak with.

Additionally, the art is phenomenal.  The coloring is bright and eye-catching, but not gratuitous.  It looks as good as it reads, which is a high compliment.

Yeah, I loved this book. And, I think you will, too.




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