Saturday, February 9, 2013

Wasteland #43

Written by Antony Johnston
Art by Russel Roehling

One thing that has consistently made Antony Johnston's Wasteland stand out from other post-Apocalyptic comics is the extent to which he has gone to develop and explain the world into which he has dropped his readers.  Social orders are thought through to a high degree, and every town and person has some kind of backstory that has already been worked out before we meet it or them.  I imagine that Johnston has notebooks full of ideas and stories that we are never going to read, and that exist only to inform what does make it into the comic.

In this issue, Michael is continuing on to A-Ree-Yass-I, the mysterious place where he believes that he and Abi were born.  He's on his own, having split from Abi a couple issues back, and is simply following his instincts.  He comes across a grove of trees that have grown alongside a river in the middle of some wasteland.  Michael's never seen trees in such number of or such height, and he becomes especially interested in an old man who lives among them - a former artisian from the town of Wosh-tun.  Michael doesn't know that he's being followed by Thomas, a man we met a few issues back, who has abilities somewhat like Michael's.

This is a quiet issue, but not in the manner of the last issue, where Abi found herself in the town where her former religious leader was born.  This issue is not about Michael overcoming any particular challenge or hardship; it's more of a filler to show his journey and to give Thomas the chance to catch up with him, but it is still very good, as we get to see a little more of Johnston's world.

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