Comics Features

REVIEW: The Wastelands #0 and #1

Written by Robert Porter

What happens to the world when God (whichever one applies) decides to up and leave? Would the world descend into chaos, with demons rising from the depths and enslaving humankind for all of eternity? Eh, I wouldn’t worry too much about that actually happening but just in case you were wondering, The Wastelands has got you covered. Petitecreme‘s epic saga of a world with no gods has reached our doorstep here at AP2HYC, and wouldn’t you know it? We’ve gone ahead and reviewed the first two issues, just for you. Tread carefully, faithful readers, for there will be slight spoilers below.

First things first. These issues are just massive. Both the prequel and first issue come in at over one hundred pages each, which is impressive considering Petitecreme (don’t you love that name?) does everything. She writes, draws, and colors the entire story herself and as such, we should bow before her and present her with the award for “Comic Creator Who Gets the Least Sleep™.” That’s probably not a real award, but it should be. Anyway, that’s enough ranting and raving from me; we haven’t even got the book open yet! What are we waiting for?

The world of The Wastelands was once inhabited by many gods, each with their very own temples where people would go to worship them. Each god has its own niche in the world, but the goddess Tho-og is described as the creator of the world and all its inhabitants, so it’s safe to assume that she’s a pretty big deal. When all the gods mysteriously disappear, demons surface and the temple guardians that are sworn to protect the temples of the gods go a little haywire since they’re in crisis mode. Of course all this tomfoolery makes the world a very dangerous place, and many people are left searching for answers.

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In the prequel issue titled The Wastelands: Rahu we meet…well, Rahu, who is one such man. Keep in mind that even though we will be referring to the inhabitants of this world as “people,” and such other familiar terms, the world of The Wastelands is lush with fantasy-style races and locales. For example, Rahu has hooves and horns, which doesn’t necessarily make him a “man” per se, but you catch my drift, yes?

Born from a witch, Rahu is named after the demon king Rahuli. This, coupled with his odd appearance when compared to the other members of his clan, makes Rahu’s life somewhat difficult. Nevertheless, Rahu’s mother believes he has been blessed by the goddess Tho-og while Rahu himself believes he has been cursed. When Rahu is still a young boy, his clan develops an incurable disease that will eventually be the death of everyone, but wait! We don’t have to wait that long after all! Something has got the gods seriously ticked off, and one day the god Taklamakan suddenly decides to lay waste to Rahu’s entire clan, leaving Rahu the only survivor. It is not long after this event that the gods blow the proverbial popsicle stand and leave the door wide open for the demons to waltz right in.

Issue #0 is largely a set up to the universe of The Wastelands while also serving as an introduction to one of the story’s main characters, so while it isn’t absolutely necessary to pick this one up, I recommend you do since having all this background really helps when you’re thrust full force into the world of The Wastelands in the first pages of issue #1. And speaking of issue #1…

In The Wastelands #1 we meet Amy, who one day awakens to find herself mysteriously displaced and stranded in the wastelands. When Kyror happens upon her she explains that she needs to find a way back home, and being the kinda guy Kyror is, he decides to help her out. To this end, Kyror takes Amy on a journey to his home, “The Kingdom.” On the way we get a look at the temple of the god Jamyaug and run into some of those temple guardians (ProTip: they’re not friendly), which Kyror evades with skill and finesse. No doubt he brought Amy there just to impress her; I mean, that’s what I would do, anyway.

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Later on Amy and Kyror come across an injured Rahu and offer to take him to The Kingdom. Rahu declines, opting to lay beneath a tree instead of seeing a doctor about all those injuries (hey bro, it’s your journey). Despite the gang not being all together in this first issue, I get the sneaking suspicion that this is not the last we’ve seen of Rahu and that their paths will cross again in future installments of The Wastelands.

Since Amy is, by all accounts, human, she must hide her identity when she and Kyror arrive at The Kingdom. This all seems to be going quite well until her disguise is knocked off in the commotion following a speech by King Jetsan himself. Whoops! This throws the villagers into a rage and Amy is swiftly brought before the king, where her fate will be decided. Luckily, King Jetsan spares Amy and promises to help her find her way back home; but there’s more. We learn that Kyror is actually the king’s son, which makes him a prince (but you knew that already), and that in order for Amy to get home, she is going to need to pay a visit to the queen (who is also Kyror’s mom, duh!). The trouble is, Kyror doesn’t seem too enthused about seeing his mother for one reason or another, and even goes as far as disowning her! Yes friends, there seems to be some drama in Kyror’s family, and I like it.

The artwork in The Wastelands is very well done and consistent throughout. I especially enjoyed issue #0 since it was in full color, and wondered why issue #1 didn’t follow suit. I suppose since Petitecreme is going totally hardcore and doing literally everything on her own it can be quite difficult, but it’s also possible that it was a stylistic decision on her part. If I had to say one negative thing about this book, it would probably be the lack of color in issue #1, but that’s really more of a nitpick than anything; both books are drawn incredibly well and feature very, very nice cover artwork.

If you are into the fantasy genre, The Wastelands is absolutely for you. Of course if you’re the kind of person who likes to delve into the independent, creator-owned side of comics, then I can also recommend it. There’s enough intrigue in the first two issues to keep readers interested, and the varied cast of characters helps to keep the book feeling fresh despite its length. The Wastelands has the potential to be one of those epic saga type books, not unlike Y: The Last Man or other books in the same vein, and Petitecreme has a Kickstarter going to fund future issues. There’s not much time left on the campaign, so I implore you, get on over there and support this title! You can also find more information about Petitecreme and The Wastelands over at Taptastic, so you should take a look at that as well.

What did you think of The Wastelands? Did it slake your thirst for glorious fantasy? Let us know in the comments section and on our Twitter page!

 

 

About the author

Robert Porter