Our pal Kit reviews comics for us sometimes! This is one of those times.
“Hold on to your britches partners! We are in for a bumpy ride!” – Gib the talking turtle.
Hound comics are up again! This time with a review of The Kings of the Wastelands! This was written, pencilled and inked by Delbert Hewitt Jr (now that’s dedication!) and coloured by Ross A Campbell, for pages 1-4, then Juan Marquez.
So, what are we looking at here? We have a post-apocalyptic setting, talking animals and no people. Well I’m game, that’s for sure. In this world there was some kind of explosion, not gone into in this first issue, that seemingly left every human dead, or at least out of Vegas and resulted in the animals walking around on two feet and speaking, wearing clothes, fighting and struggling for survival.
We begin with a very colourful front cover, a dog is flying through the air about to stab a gigantic hippo. This is a good lead in to the art in this issue. Every page is full of colour and detail, I didn’t actually notice the change of colouring styles during the comic until I reread it for this review. There are some minor differences in the colouring, mostly in the sky when you look for it. Otherwise the change in colourist is seamless. As for the art itself Hewitt has done a very good job. His style is seemingly simplistic but he packs in a lot of detail and expression into his characters.
Speaking of his characters, each of the cast appearing in this issue is full of personality. Jacob, our hero is a loner dog who’s moping around the wasteland and out for revenge. The cat… isn’t actually named… but is clearly a dependant, openly needing to be part of a group, unlike most actual cats. And then there’s Gib, the awesome, old, car driving, apparently southern turtle. Plus a whole host of bad guys for the gang to fight, varying from lizard nomads, to panthers, to Hunter the tiger – the apparent antagonist and finally the Dragon… or hippo… dragon does sound more intimidating, but damn, I would not like to fight that hippo myself.
The story follows Jacob’s integration into a loose group with the cat and Gib, whilst seeking revenge on Hunter the tiger, who killed his family. There is no mention of what’s happened to the humans, or why increased intellect apparently means animals care about wearing clothes now, but this isn’t a comic that feels hugely deep as such. It’s a very fun ride for a first issue, successfully setting the stakes, the good guys and the bad guys whilst packing in some kick ass fights, but it doesn’t feel like there’s any hidden meaning or much to stay up discussing in the early hours of the morning to it. This in itself isn’t a bad thing, not every comic has to be deep and philosophical and it’s refreshing to read about a berserk warrior dog stab everything it comes across unapologetically.
This is a fun start to a promising series, if you want an action comic with fantastic fight scenes or if you like Mad Max, but kinda wished they were all talking animals then this is for you. The art is also fantastic and the author and colourists should feel proud of what they’ve made here. You can order The King of the Wastelands #1 here or digitally (with a preview) here!
Final Score – 8.5 lizard nomads out of 10.