It is always difficult to jump into the middle of an on-going story. Superhero titles by Marvel and DC are broken down into six issue arcs and there are always two “new reader” points every year. Longer narratives, like Scalped or Fables, both amazing stories, can be nearly impossible to understand properly from just the latest weekly issue. Still, they are classic reads, and a primary reason why the trade paperback market keeps growing. Wasteland #30 was confusing at first for this novice to the title; yet, I immediately wanted to know more.
Wasteland #30 is definitely worth checking out. Set in a non-specific point in the future, after a great disaster has reduced America to ruins, the plot is woven with religious, linguistic, and historic elements that make the characters, and world, very rich and detailed. I especially enjoyed trying to sound out “A-Ree-Yass-I” to see if I could figure out what it referred to. Written by Antony Johnston, issue #30 deals almost exclusively with the Sunner (a religious/cultural group being oppressed) uprising. Coming from South Africa in the 1980’s, I appreciated the weighty, but deftly written political and moral discourse about using violence to achieve equality, and how it affects those fighting on both sides. Wasteland is a comic that makes one think and feel, and through its story, examine our own lives.
The art by Christopher Mitten and Remington Veteto is just as rich and developed as the plotting. Done in black and white, this comic avoids the too-often indie pitfalls of scratchy pencils and rushed inking. Instead, it adds to the darkness and desolation of the post-apocalyptic world, while still conveying the smallest facial expressions – hinting, rather than just stating in text, what the characters are feeling and thinking. If my review makes this book seem too weighty, or too dark, I should quickly add that this comic also reminded me of the cult classic Mad Max. This is America’s possible dark future, well thought out, and richly developed. Definitely worth jumping into right away!