By Laramie Martinez
If you’re considering reading The Wicked Righteous, I’m going to assume you are a fan of the post-apocalyptic genre. As a fan, you will probably be familiar with most of the themes in this issue. References to the rapture, flashbacks of a world descending into chaos, and a mysterious disease are all familiar tropes. What separates The Wicked Righteous from its fellow day after doomsday stories is its focus on the children of the apocalypse. This perspective was what initially drew me to the book. Unfortunately, inconsistent pacing made the issue feel like it was trying too hard to create tension and drama between characters. For the rest of my review take a look below.
After the death of their mother, four brothers, Johnny, Matt, Lucas, and Mark, are told by their father, who is also on death’s door, that he believes they will be a light to a dark world after he is gone. It is a simple, effective setup, I was actually looking forward to reading more about these four brothers and how they would fend for themselves as they traveled alone in a world gone crazy. But immediately after this ominous introduction, the story skips ahead two years and the brothers are in the care of an estranged Uncle. I get why the story jumps ahead, there will probably be more than the occasional flashback explaining how the boys managed to find their uncle and how they ended up at the current narrative track, but I can’t help but feel like the comic was baiting me. I felt like I had been robbed of that initial story and would now have to slog through the current plot to see how the boys managed to survive.
Another issue I had revolves around the pacing of the book, exemplified best by a character named Billy. This character occupies six pages, and by the middle of the issue, we’re expected to believe that he has gone from having absolutely nothing to do with the story, to becoming a terrifying villain who hates all of the brothers. His time in the panel doesn’t justify this type of hatred. It is just hard to swallow that a boy one of the brothers happens to meet would be so hateful after such a short encounter. You can’t hate someone you barely know, at least not on that level. Sure, the kid could be crazy, but if that were so, it could have been established a little better.
Lastly, I’m finding more and more artists are going for this kind of airbrush approach to coloring. I would probably have liked this art more if it had been done in just black and white. There are some blood and brain panels in this issue, but I feel like there isn’t enough detail to make the panels as dramatic as they are staged to be. Part of the problem is the colors, they’re too cartoony to be taken seriously, and the second part of the problem is the lack of details in the art. If you’re going to try to shock a reader, then you need to go all out. Otherwise, you end up with a flat delivery.
This comic was a mixed bag. The flashback seems cliché and the art needs a little bit more oomph in portraying the violence of this world, but there were things I liked too. There are a few mysteries which make this book different from most post-apocalyptic books. Sadly, I just can’t bring myself to give it a stamp of approval. There is too much wrong with this to be considered average.
The Wicked Righteous #1
Writer: Terry Mayo
Artist: Lucas Romero
Colorist: Christopher Hall
Publisher: Alterna Comics