The bomb has dropped and we’re all dead, but from our ashes the animals of the world have become anthropomorphic and now live in a dystopian future. That’s the fastest way of summing up the world of The Kings of the Wastelands. Really the only thing new here is the animal twist. Otherwise we just have a lone anti-hero looking for revenge in a future wasteland. That’s really all there is to the story. It has the tropes: I’m a loner and don’t need anyone except now when I need someone. The character that seems to know the world better than the main character that’s living in the same world, an evil gang that runs shit and is the bane of our main character’s existence. Really it was like a checklist of things were included in the story and none of them original other than the animal twist.
As for what we actually see and read, we meet Jacob. He’s a dog. His family has been killed and now he’s really good at killing people with his broken sword. I don’t know why he’s really good, but he is. He’s trying to track down a gang of zoo animals that killed his human family. He teams up with a cat, but only after he tells the cat that he doesn’t want to go down the path he’s walking. There’s some fights, a turtle or tortoise with a dune buggy and a tiger is the bad guy.
It’s not terrible. I have read far worse, but it’s not very imaginative. The story as I said before, was almost written with a checklist in mind. Jacob is just that character. He’s sure to fall majorly only to pick himself back up and win in the end. It’s a story that’s been done and done to death and frankly the anthropomorphic twist isn’t enough to make it different.
The art is actually pretty good. It’s not great, but it’s far better than the story it’s supporting. The line work is clean and everything is extremely detailed. I’m not crazy about the facial designs for most of the animals. The cat looks weird, and Jacob kind of looks like a dog, but at the same time not really. The lizard nomads have a great design, but they don’t really fit with the rest of the world due to how bright they are.
The lettering is terrible. When I can spot the font used for “Lizard Nomads!” then you have a problem, its Feast of Flesh if you were wondering. The lettering is terribly generic and frankly does the book a disservice. The rest of the book at least looks professional, but the lettering is amateur all the way.
I don’t see myself reading any more of this series. I feel as if I’ve read and seen this story before and done better. The twist of it being anthropomorphic animals in a dystopian future really has no appeal to me. If it does for you and you can overlook the terrible lettering, then give it a shot.
The Kings of the Wastelands #1 Creator: Delbert Hewitt Jr. Colorists: Ross A. Campbell, Juan Marquez Publisher: Hound Comics Price: $5.00 Format: Ongoing; Print Website