In an alternate near future, the United States has walled itself off from the rest of the world. Known as the “Sealing,” no one outside the walls had heard a word from inside the USA until thirty years later when a pandemic called Sky rages across the globe. Two political entities, Alliance Euro-Afrique (AEA) and the Pan-Asian Prosperity Zone, pick up a message from a Dr. Sam Elgin, inviting them to America to help them deal with the plague. A team is assembled consisting of two diplomats, a journalist (Valentina Sadoval), an epidemiologist (Charlotte Graves), her brother, Major Graves, a Col. Bukowski, and an American History specialist (Dr. Kenyatta). Their mission is to fly a pre-approved path to Colorado to meet with Dr. Elgin who was once part of a project called Aurora.
But, like most plans, this one goes south very quickly.
Shot down as they cross the California wall, they land in the desert and are attacked by men and creatures that remind me of Mad Max on steroids. As they run for their lives, the group is helped by none other than Dr. Elgin who is not quite what he appears to be, nor is America what they expected. Instead of a Garden of Eden, it has become a twisted version of itself. The group soon learns that to survive and achieve their goal, they must walk the “spiral.” Politics, personal dynamics, and a lot of crazy people will challenge them, as well.
This is a fast-paced, action-driven story that never lets up. We are dropped into it right from the start which I enjoyed. Occasionally, it’s a little dialogue heavy for my tastes; the information parsed out is interesting and helps to dig deeper into the mystery about what happened in America over those thirty years. Each character has a distinctive point of view and an agenda which makes for good storytelling. The art was nicely detailed, giving you a terrific sense of time and place. The quotes from people who were sealed out of America add a nice touch.
This story resonates on so many levels on what we are dealing with today, between a pandemic and political obstacles; it’s kind of a relief to see man-eating bison and crazy toxic starfish. So, if you’re looking for a semi-escape from today’s news, this just might be it.
Creative Team: Scott Snyder & Charles Soule (writers), Guiseppe Camuncoli (layouts), Daniele Orlandini (finishes: #1-4), Leonardo Marcello Grassi (finishes: 4-6), Matt Wilson (colorist), CRANK! (letterer)
Publisher: Image Comics, Inc.
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