Wild’s End isn’t revolutionary, but that’s one of its strengths.
When a rural English community of the 1930s is the victim of an alien invasion, the residents’ lives are upended by the harsh realities of life-and-death violence. Led by the town’s outsider and retired war veteran, they will have to rally together to uncover the secret of their invaders and ultimately fight back.
Dan Abnett, possibly the most prolific writer in the UK at the moment, has teamed up again with I.N.J. Culbard, his partner on The New Deadwardians. Much like that series, Wild’s End #1 doesn’t break the mold, but it does prove to be a very enjoyable read.
The story itself will be very familiar to you have if read anything by an English author from the late 1900’s; a quaint middle class English village reacts to a new person moving in by being very English towards them. Its also apparent that that person, a veteran of a conflict, has seen many things that have changed him. Whilst this would be fine enough fodder for a story, this is comics so we need a bit more action! So as anyone who looked at the cover image may have guessed, something else is going on that draws the different groups of the village together.
So far so good, Abnett’s writing is strong enough that a story that is old hat doesn’t quite seem so much in his hands. But its really Culbard’s art that is the star of the show. Bringing up memories of Wind in the Willows and Rupert the Bear, his art is so simple but beautiful. Lets not kid around here, when I saw the cover of the issue, I instantly looked for prints online- almost every panel is so gorgeous but understated that I would frame and hang every one from my wall tomorrow if I could.
So in the end, both aspects combine in the best way comics do; to create a whole that is far better than the sum of its parts. I’ll be reading each issue of Wild’s End as I’m interested to see if Abnett is playing with the readers expectations as to what we think is happening. But the real reason, in my heart of hearts, will be to view just one more panel drawn by I.N.J. Culbard.
Cover image courtesy of Comixology
Wild’s End is available now from Comixology or your local comic retailer.
Geek-o-Rama received a copy of this comic for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, comments and opinions are those of the individual reviewer.