Story: Peter Milligan
Art: Jesus Hervas
Colors: James Devlin
Letterer: Sal Cipriano
What They Say:
Time Out—Forever! In this shocking new sci-fi horror series, a Russian computer virus has jumped the species barrier and wiped out most of the adult population, leaving the world precariously in the hands of the next generation. In the wake of devastation, musical prodigy Oscar Fuentes is separated from his twin sister Cira. Stranded on opposite sides of the country, they’re swept into rapidly evolving networks of teenage gangs. Can Oscar find his way back to Cira . . . or will they be lost to each other forever, in a dangerous makeshift civilization that is mercilessly replacing the past?
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
When it comes to writers that I enjoy, Peter Milligan is definitely one of them. I don’t see too many of his works simply because there’s only so much time in the day but I have strong fond memories of his work decades ago when the British Invasion hit the DC books and then a few of his other projects over the last several years when I got back into comics. So a new series from him, or a potential series of miniseries, is definitely up my alley. With this one he’s paired with Jesus Hervas on the artwork and it definitely looks good and fits the tone. Hervas really captures the panicked look on peoples faces as they see what’s going on around them and try to do their best to manage surviving in the craziness ahead. Plus with some good settings and overall flow, it’s got my attention.
The premise is a little awkward at first since it does that dark scene and backs up a few days, but we’re introduced to a couple of different clusters of characters. They’re living their lives and doing their things just as the world is changing all around them faster than they realize. The problem is that a computer virus that was coded in Russia by a longstanding hacker has been changed and modified and has now leapt across from machines to humans. That’s a surreal part that I hope gets touched on later in some kind of comically wonky explanation, but it works with what we get here for now. The reality is that something is spread across the world with incredible speed and no human carrier vectors. Once someone gets hit it seems like they’ve got about twenty minutes before they’re dead. It also seems like it’s kids that are immune for the moment from it.
One group has a father that’s managed to his wife to grab the kids and head off to her mother’s where technology is light and she even managed to get the kids off the gear. He’s working with the government to figure this out and is the only one really believing this leap from machine to people at the moment, but everything with that goes to the side once he finds out his kids are in danger. The other main grouping we get are a pair of teenage twins where it focuses on the young man who is incredibly stressed for his interview for music college. His twin is always with him but skipping this time around and that’s put a lot of added pressure since it’s just him and his mother. His identity is tied heavily to his sister’s support to help calm him, but we do see him doing fairly well here while learning some of his quirks along the way. Of course, putting him elsewhere in the country away from his sister just as everything goes bad – to the point of losing his mother – just means he’s going to have a hard journey back to her.
While the character material can go only so far in a first issue considering the number of things being introduced here, what we do get provides enough to connect with and enough to want to see it move forward in how they’ll survive such a situation. Hervas’ artwork is well-suited to the story and situation and I really like the way he brings the characters to life here. Milligan’s story is fairly straightforward at this point but I really expect that when it comes to virus/contagion style series. There’s going to be more interesting material ahead in how the world and the cast react to what’s going on than the early days of it causing the chaos. There’s definitely some solid fun here and I’m curious to see what direction Milligan will take it since he can be pretty unpredictable with his works.
Age Rating: 17+
Released By: Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: February 26th, 2020