I thoroughly enjoyed the first series of Wild’s End, and this second series takes up just after the end of that first series. The BOOM! Studios blurb for the second series explains where this series will go while being hilariously badly written and hyperbolic to the point of satire.
What’s to Love: The first Wild’s End miniseries kept us in constant suspense with its unlikely mash-up of War of the Worlds and The Wind in the Willows. We’re holding our collective breaths once again as author Dan Abnett (Guardians of the Galaxy) and illustrator I.N.J. Culbard (The King in Yellow) are set to play with the paranoia and “enemy amongst us” conspiracy theories prevalent in stories we love like Invasion of the Body Snatchers and The X-Files. What It Is: As Clive, Susan, Fawkes, and the other survivors of the alien invasion of Lower Crowchurch try to cope with what just happened to their small town, the military arrives in an attempt to cover up the “incident.” Town residents are immediately detained, questioned, and treated with suspicion. Are they alien spies, collaborators, sympathizers? Clive and the rest will need to escape imprisonment if they’re to get the word out and warn the rest of the world in case the aliens return.
Anyhow, this issue starts with a flashback from Clive onboard a British navy ship when A Very Bad Thing happens which explains the trauma he’s experienced. Meanwhile a conference is assembling with writers of scientific fiction to presumably discuss the alien invasion of the first series.
This develops into a discussion about science fiction versus the more romantic, space opera-esque style of SF and it gets a bit hardcore…
These are some beautifully done pages by Abnett and Culbard with the facial expressions of both characters being an absolute joy. This is of course the sort of argument that’s been going on in science fiction since the very beginning and it’s nice to see it dealt with here in such an effective way, not to mention it’s also the case we know there’s alien monsters from another world invading Earth as we’ve seen them in the first series. We know that in this world, the more romantic SF of alien worlds and the invaders from them is real.
Confelt doesn’t quite react as you’d think he would.
Once the situation is explained, both men are told they’re there to help the army work out just what is going on as this is obviously well outside the British armed forces frame of reference.
As for the survivors of the invasion they’re under army guard and are getting a tad fed up of being locked up, though there’s a bit of, I presume, foreshadowing.
Wild’s End: The Enemy Within is a different type of series to the first one. The alien threat is still there but no aliens appear in this issue, but there is a lot of slow building panic that here is the British armed forces, at that time one of the most powerful on the planet and they haven’t got a clue what to do. So they presume the survivors might be shape-shifting aliens and paranoia creeps in.
Dan Abnett’s script is tight and crisp, while I.N.J. Culbard’s art is superb, especially in capturing the character just by how they stand, not to mention the way their facial expressions are captured which sounds easy, but in an anthropomorphic world that’s incredibly hard to make a dog, or a pig, look and feel human yet Culbard manages it well while making it clear these are anthropomorphic creations.
It’s nice little comic and the rest of the series promises much and I hope they deliver on this splendid first issue.