Story: Tim Daniel, David Andry
Art: Sunando C
Colors: Kurt Michael Russell
Letterer: Jim Campbell
What They Say:
We’re all the heroes of our own stories.
Although his life has ended, Walt’s story has just begun. With Grink as his guide, Walt travels into the unknown to retrieve a mystical relic.
But when he falters, a fellow warrior illuminates a dark truth: To wear the hero’s mantle in the End After End, you must seize it.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The debut of this series was one that intrigued me to be sure as it brought together the writing talents of Resonant and The Plot. Writers David Andry and Tim Daniel delighted me with both of those works in very different ways. The start of this series pulled me in pretty quickly without doing any kind of serious information dump. It also stood out strong thanks to Sunando C’s artwork, which looks great here, giving me some early Brian Steelfreeze vibes that tickle my fancy. The look is distinctive yet at the same time has a kind of vague looseness about it that works for the story and setting itself. It’s got some really distinctive characters but has such an amorphous setting that it really delivers well.
With the second issue, we don’t get any new explanations about what’s going on but it does try to hint at things more. It also slides in some backstory of sorts to highlight who Walt is. This mostly comes from his childhood when he’d be on the bus and beating up the bully who was threatening and abusing his little brother. Considering his age now, it’s not unsurprising that he’d be the one punished more than the bully and we see how the whole incident is going to cause problems when their father finds out. But it does clue us into some of Walt’s mindset a bit because he says that it was foolish to go after the bully because when you do you have to make sure that you can actually take him down. If you can’t take him down it’s just going to invite a lot more bullying and general threats in the future, making things even worse. It’s something you can see being laid as some foreshadowing.
In regards to where Walt is now, he’s continuing to glean some things from Grink as they make their way to the inside where the team is now smaller and moving down the hole into the underground. With the Catha leading the way of sorts and serving as the ultimate weapon of the moment, so much is just left to the rank and file that have survived this far. As Grink notes, most that end up in this place are the old and infirm so Walt has a greater chance of survival if he can hack it. What may help is that he ends up meeting someone named Stills who really seems like they’re built for this kind of existence and Walt is picking up a few hints and ways to survive through him, and fleshing the world that exists a bit more. The whole why and what for is still a mystery, but that’s part of the allure in that nobody really knows and that they just continue to fight to survive.
This series has set an intriguing enough design to it that I’m glad that it’s not providing a lot of answers right out of the gate to explain things. It has to give us a bit more meat sooner than later but right now following Walt and his trying to understand things, and the nods to his past life, are working quite well to show how he’s handling this happening to him. The script continues to be solid with some good dialogue and highlighting the kind of shell shock that Walt is going through. The artwork really delivers here in creating something unique and engaging, especially as we get to dealing with things like cave spiders and more. Definitely worth a look and a high recommendation if it can stick some key moments soon in why we should be really invested in it.
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Vault Comics
Release Date: September 28th, 2022