Comic Review: Wild’s End #1
Guardians of the Galaxy creator Dan Abnett invents a world of anthropomorphic animals who encounter an out-of-this-world threat in BOOM! Studios’ new Sci-Fi fantasy, Wild’s End.
Try Wilds End #1 if you need more anthropomorphic animals in your life.
With widely-used comparisons to H.G. Wells, the opening issue of Wild’s End only hints at its sci-fi elements. A shooting star flashes across the night sky and appears to land far in the distance while the town drunk, Fawkes Fox, watches in amazement. Meanwhile, the town inhabitants of Lower Crowchurch prepare for a town hall meeting in which a new committee will be elected. A new resident to town, Clive (who is also a dog), was formerly a naval officer but now makes his money painting houses and working odd jobs. During one of his assignments, Clive is approached by a rabbit named Gilbert, who happens to be running for town committee and looking for supporters to back him in the election. During the assembly full of pigs, bears, otters, and more, Fawkes enters in a panic and warns of the falling UFO. Of course, being the town drunk makes it hard for anyone to take him seriously and unfortunately he is roundly ignored. You can probably guess that this was a bad idea and is only the beginning for our new furry friends.
The story of Wild’s End was extremely ambitious in its tone and context. However, I feel like Abnett missed the mark here. The dialogue rambles on for what feels like the entirety of the issue and at times felt like a stage play–it’s exaggerated and full of thoroughly elucidated conversations lacking of any subtlety. While it’s a zealous attempt to write exchanges in phonetic slang, it is often hard to follow and can come off as though it were written in a made up language. I appreciated Abnett’s ability to give each character his own voice and creating a distinct feel between personalities, but he lays it on so thickly at times it felt a tad condescending. In between the long exchanges of characters, the action was sparse. The story became very interesting and exciting at specifically active moments, but they happened so rarely that I was bored in between them. As I mentioned, Abnett took a long time to get to the sci-fi bits and his long setup felt like a misstep. Perhaps this was to alleviate any unnecessary waiting in issue #2 so he can dive right into the action and get going. On the upside, I.N.J Culbard’s art style was sweet and heartwarming–it made me think of The Wind in the Willows numerous times. If nothing else, he certainly does a bang up job of dressing animals in three piece suits and tiny derby hats.
I’m hopeful that Abnett will turn me around on issue #2 because I fully enjoy peering through space using his lens. Additionally, if BOOM! Studios is going to market this as something Edgar Wright fans would enjoy, then they’d better get moving on this space opera. Otherwise, I’m going to require a Cornetto.