What I thought of Wild’s End #6

Thoughts about #1#2#3#4 and #5.

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I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this series and I’m glad to say this final issue doesn’t disappoint at all as it hits the ground running from the off as our little group try their best to stop the aliens from gaining on them and killing them, and the rest of the planet.

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The situation is clearly desperate but little acts of heroism and defiance make it seem like our heroes might actually defeat this superior invading force.

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Do they succeed? Do all of them survive? Is it open for a sequel?

I’m not answering any of those questions but I will say a sequel could happen if I assume there’s a market for it, and if Abnett and Culbard maintain this quality then I’d gladly see one happen.

Wild’s End has been a interesting experiment in telling a old type of alien invasion story in a way that’s not been done before and for that the creators and publishers need to be applauded for not just cranking out Standard Adventure Comic #1 and actually trying something away from the norm. As I’ve said before, this doesn’t change the face of the medium but it’s been a refreshingly fun and different read in a crowded market that often has titles that promise much but deliver little to nothing.

I look forward to it’s possible return….

What I thought of Wild’s End #5

Thoughts about #1#2#3 and #4.

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The second last issue of Abnett and Culbard’s highly entertaining alien invasion story starts with our main characters under serious threat as the aliens become even more dangerous.

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After narrowly escaping death our crew decide to held to Leechpool, where the intention is to get a boat or a punt to escape the aliens and warn the world about what’s coming, but as we’ve seen so far in Wild’s End, this is easier said than done. Luck holds out for them and they manage to find a punt and head on their way.

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This has been an exciting little adventure that although it tries hard to maintain a sense of verisimilitude, sometimes slips as characters use late  20th century slang which does take me out of the comic. That aside, Wild’s End is a great adventure comic that’s coming to a hopefully satisfying climax though I do struggle as to how everything is to get wrapped up in one last issue.

What I thought of Wild’s End #4

Thoughts about #1#2 and #3.

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This issue of Wild’s End has a simply lovely cover by I.N.J Culbard whose art in this series has been one of the main reasons it’s worked so well. What’s also helped is the fine script by Dan Abnett which mixes Victorian valour with some 21st century sensibilities. We pick this issue with our group of characters trying to escape the alien invaders and run into Mr. Fawkes who draws up Clive’s military expertise to help him with his attack on these aliens.

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The group manage to evade the aliens in order to head towards Upper Deeping, a nearby village in the hope of finding a telephone to alert the authorities to get some help. Sadly the aliens get there before they do and as all British people would do in an emergency, they head to the pub.

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This is a wonderful little comics which really deserves more praise for spinning a Boy’s Own adventure on the surface, but really has more lairs to it than that. For one it’s not advisable to become attached to characters as they may not be around for long, and for another it’s not a story of square jawed heroes fighting aliens but ordinary people trying hard to find out what’s happening to them at a time when the idea of alien invaders was utterly insane. This really is a fine comic and I’d advise picking this up before the the trade collection.

What I thought of Wild’s End #3

Thoughts about #1 and #2.

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After last issue’s shocking death, this issue opens with Clive and his companions working out that something very, very wrong is going on and they’re unable to deal with it by themselves, so they attempt to escape from whatever this is, though we the reader know this is an alien invasion.

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Much of this issue is the group trying to escape, then outrun the alien creature that’s killed two of their fellow villagers so far, and it’s also a chance for some character building as we find out more about our cast in some nice little character moments not to mention it’s a chance to enjoy some lovely art.

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The writer, Dan Abnett, has already shown that as a reader we shouldn’t become complacent about what characters will survive this murderous alien invader, nor should we be too shocked when the group come across what we know is a crop circle.

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Wild’s End is a cracking little adventure comic. As I’ve said previously, it’s not going to change the face of comics, nor does it try but it presents a familiar story in such a new way while dropping in surprises like the crop circle that I can’t help but enjoy the thing for the romp it is.

What I thought of Wild’s End #2

Thoughts about #1.

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I really do hate anthropomorphic comics aimed at adults. I really do think they’re twee nonsense for the sort of people who ironically like Adventure Time as if it was the Magic Roundabout of the 21st Century. I hate endless alien invasion stories that rip off H.G Wells and Nigel Kneale.

So why do I like Wild’s End? It’s twee. It’s got funny animals acting like humans, an alien invasion and even worse, it’s full of nostalgia porn for a English countryside that only existed for a short time a long, long time ago. Then why is it so bloody good?

One reason is the jet black sense of humour running though both issues so far, so for example when our characters come across a burning cottage inhabited by an anthropomorphic pig we get this exchange.

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Then a short while later we have what seems to be the hero, deliver a speech about heroism and revenge.

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If Abnett and Culbard had made these characters human then much of what’s going on would be cliched and frankly there wouldn’t be this association between what’s going on and our childhood memories of reading tales of twee characters in quaint English villages having lovely little adventures. It wouldn’t be so effective in the broad strokes it’s taking because even if we haven’t read such a children’s book in decades we know the fox character is a little bit rough round the edges, the rabbit is officious and the bulldog is heroic.

This issue really is effective playing on perceptions and expectations of these sort of comics which makes the brutality which does happen even more shocking as Clive and his new friends try to get to the bottom of what exactly is going on in their sleepy little village. It’s a wonderful adventure story, but it’s also something best left unspoiled as much as possible because the writer Dan Abnett delights in shaking up the reader’s perceptions.

Wild’s End is a cracking comic and quite possibly one of the best things I’m reading at the moment. It’s a six-issue series and I’d highly recommend picking it up now rather than wait for a trade collection.

What I thought of Wild’s End #1

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I hate cutesy anthropomorphic characters aimed at adults. I’m tired of Steampunk, and I’m even more tired of people digging up the War of the Worlds to kick it around like a battered old football on a pitch in a Sunday league game. It’s bloody tedious and a pile of arse. I fucking hate it and the hipsters who dress in Steampunk gear, or dress as their favourite cartoon animal when they’re old enough to have grandchildren. I hate nostalgia porn like Downton Abbey for the message it gives.  Twee makes me sick. Yes, I’m a grumpy bastard but it’s pish. It really is.

So with this in mind, I should now say I fucking hate Wild’s End. I don’t, even though from the off it’s twee. Sickeningly so.

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Tweeness aside, it’s bright, lively and well, nice. The idea to make the characters animals and anthropomorphise them makes sense because it avoids the cliches which have sprung up thanks to programmes like Downton Abbey. This takes you out of that sort of world instantly, yet at the same time it drops you in a world from old British children’s literature which wraps itself around you like an old blanket you’ve not seen in decades.

The writer Dan Abnett understands that the reader will be familiar with this sort of world so still spends time building up life in the quiet village of Lower Crowchurch, which is sadly, quickly broken.

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You actually care though because even though these characters are drawn with very, very broad brushstrokes they’re still interesting because of those childhood memories they stir. We all miked Mr. Fox or Ratty, so these types of archetypes mean something to us and when the nasty alien stuff starts happening it’s shocking.

There’s a sprightly joy around Wild’s End. It’s twee yes, but it’s not sickeningly so. It’s not wallowing in the violence that does spring up so it’s a perfectly fine comic to give older children wanting to read an interesting take on the War of the Worlds story. Culbard’s art is always lovely and the entire thing is a huge waft of fresh air. Yes, maybe I’m not such a grumpy bastard after all?