And so begins the fine battle between the Dawn and the Judge. Man-oh-man if you haven’t been reading Wild Blue Yonder you’re missing out. This book may have a slower release schedule, but when it delivers an issue as good as this then it’s worth the wait. In the last issue Tug was revealed to be a traitor that the Judge had planted in order to make his last big push at capturing the Dawn for his people; his people being an assortment of survivors from all over the place, but his people none the less. Now the Dawn is launching a full-out defense against the oncoming droves of planes. The stakes couldn’t be higher, but they have a secret weapon… Tug. That’s right, the traitor now turned double traitor wants to take out the Judge’s fuel supply so that they can never catch up to the Dawn again.
For the Judge he’s made a terrible miscalculation and sent his entire force to attack the Dawn and never planned for a counter-strike. Basically meaning that if Tug can make it to the reserves there’s nothing the Judge can do to stop him. He heads for his plane in a last-ditch effort, but also bids his crew goodbye and leaves them with instructions for either success or failure.
This issue has a few tear jerker moments and I don’t mean deaths. It’s heavily laced with emotion and one of the scenes is the stone cold Judge taking off his jacket and essentially handing over command of their people. It’s clear that he didn’t want to be a part of the battle so that he could control the battle, but his error has cost him possibly everything. The rest of the heartfelt moments come from situations that have been mentioned over and over in the series that are now coming to life. It’s strange how dialogue can take on a deeper meaning when it’s no longer being said for practice.
There are plenty of post-apocalyptic stories, but Wild Blue Yonder is truly original. Not only does it see mankind’s survivors take to the skies, but our team of storytellers have remembered an important fact about the world… everyone is just trying to survive. The Judge really isn’t a bad guy. He’s just trying to make sure that the people he’s in charge of survive and so are the Dawn’s people. Sure we root for the Dawn more because we’ve invested in their story, but when you think of how many of the Judge’s people will die without some kind of help you begin to wonder if the two groups are that different. Really it’s just their approaches that are different. The writing is fantastic on this issue and on this series.
Part of what makes this series worth waiting for is Zach Howard’s artwork. Aside from contributing to the story, Howard uses his pencil to bring the world to life. Facial expressions will always do the bulk of the work when showing a character’s emotions, but the body language also plays a huge role as well. Again, the scene with the Judge captures this perfectly when he slumps over the console of the ship and realizes the error of his strategy. We don’t know for sure if he’s lost yet, but he sure as shit looks defeated and this is all on the page for us to read and absorb.
There is one issue left of Wild Blue Yonder and it’s going to be a good one. There’s also the strong possibility that it’s going to be a sad one as well. If you’ve missed this series or if you dropped off, well you shouldn’t have. Pick up the digital issues, find the back issue, but give this book a read. There are a lot of post-apocalyptic stories on comic shelves, but I guarantee you won’t find another one like Wild Blue Yonder.
Writers: Mike Raicht, Zach Howard, Austin Harrison Artist: Zach Howard Publisher: IDW Publishing Price: $3.99 Release Date: 7/23/14 Format: Mini-Series, Print/Digital