The GeeksverseWasteland #32

Wasteland #32
Published on Tuesday, November 29, 2011 by

Published by: Oni Press
Written by: Antony Johnson
Art by: Brett Weldele
Lettered by: Douglas E. Sherwood
Cover Art: Ben Templesmith
Editor: James Lucas Jones

I have to be honest. This is the first issue of Wasteland I’ve read. I was going to wait until next month’s #33 which started a new arc and was billed as a “new reader jumping on point”. But I decided to give this issue a try since it was a stand alone story.

It doesn’t feel like a stand alone story. It opens like a continuation of a previous story. Rechyll wakes up alone, the caravan she was with had left her for dead. The story follows her encounter with a group of Sun-People, one of them apparently recognizable to the readers.

So as a stand alone story this fails. There is nothing about it that allows it to stand alone. It continues the story of two characters, Rechyll and Golden Voice, and it doesn’t even bring those stories to a close. Stand alone should mean that it has a beginning, middle and end in that one issue. This is not that.

But that doesn’t mean it’s not good.

Some, okay, most of Johnson’s dialogue isn’t strong. Some of it comes across as corny and stiff. It doesn’t flow smoothly and is jarring in parts. But that is somewhat overcome because of the strength of the story itself.

It’s simple, but in a good way. Past plots are brought in, but only as conversation pieces, used to help move the overall story along. For a new reader, it’s not bogged down in continuity, but just enough is given to help place the characters on solid ground. To understand and enjoy this story, you don’t need to know what the “big wet” is. Really, the story can be placed in any apocalyptic world, and it’s been done before, but the story still resonates.

And even though the story itself doesn’t close, it does bring a satisfying break to the tale of these characters. The end sets them up for future storylines, but also provides closure. The reader is satisfied with letting them move off into the background for awhile because Johnson leaves them in a good story development space. We know that when these characters get revisited, they’ll have had a relatively decent time and that they will remain free.

Weldele’s art is decent. The backgrounds are sparse, but it works for this story, helping create a wasteland-like feel. The layouts don’t flow smoothly in a couple of spots, but overall the work is technically sound.

Wasteland #32 receives
3.5 out of 5

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