The United States built a border around the entire lower 48 states and sealed themselves off from the world. No one has seen or heard anything from them until now. Thirty years have passed and a message has been sent out to the world’s governments inviting them to come in, offering a cure for a worldwide disease that threatens to exterminate all of humanity not within the US within six months. A team is dispatched to investigate and they are immediately stranded with a wild world that feels a bit Mad Max-ian. They are on their own to survive and find their way to the cure for the world.
A lot of this issue dense. Dense in dialogue and panels. Kudos to the Crank! with lettering on this issue. There was a massive amount of dialogue to fit into all of the panels. The team put in more work than normal for a first issue to world build. This could have easily been broken up across multiple issues if it were another book. I think that this was not done to get the audience up to speed as fast as possible to allow the successive issues to be more focused on unraveling the mystery that is the United States on their journey. As the issue nears the end, it is allowed to breathe with fewer panels and less dialogue. This works well to help set up a cliffhanger ending to the first issue.
I am very interested to see how this title will play out over time between Scott Snyder and Charles Soule. Will they alternate between who has script duties? Are they developing each script together? Snyder has talked about how he likes to go "big" immediately at the beginning of a story. Additionally, his scripts tend to be heavy in dialogue and/or exposition. This first issue easily reflects both of those attributes. Seeing Matt Wilson’s colors on something other than The Wicked + The Divine is quite interesting. The WicDiv works is so incredibly vibrant where the world created here is a juxtaposition of that. Seeing his flexibility in color this world is great, though you can see him sneak in that WicDiv flair here and there. This is a meaty issue and does a nice job getting your vested in it the story and ready for the second issue