If “Lone Wolf and Cub in the future” doesn’t sell you off the bat, you probably didn’t read the original manga. That book was about a samurai carting a baby boy around a dangerous land and nearly every chapter involved him cutting someone’s limb off. Now imagine that, but with monsters in the future. Sounds awesome, right? Is it good?
Lone Wolf 2100 #1 (Dark Horse Comics)
Things are a little different in the year 2100 as a plague has turned a majority of the populace into monsters of sorts. Our best and brightest are attempting to find a cure, but in the mean time we gotta survive! The problem is a cure has been found and it’s in the little girl our protagonist is protecting. Great…
Why does this book matter?
The cover has a samurai badass holding off monsters whilst a little girl is poised to chuck a snowball. Nuff said.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
The writing by Eric Heisserer is very tight and quick with a nice pace as we drop into the plot. Obviously this is a foreign world with different rules, but we quickly learn it’s very dangerous. Heisserer cuts back and forth between our protagonist and the people trying to fix the world and it reminds me of I am Legend in a lot of ways. The monsters are everywhere and dangerous, and a cure needs to be procured yesterday. Meanwhile Heisserer shows us nothing has changed even though we’re in the future as the powers that be are more concerned about foreign powers taking over America than actually saving its people.
I can’t say the book goes into that much detail about who these characters are, but nor did Lone Wolf and Cub and we survived. The mystery of the plague, the heroes and the villains is all part of the fun. Really, books like this deliver action and the plot and character are just icing on the cake.
The art by Miguel Sepulveda is solid at capturing perspective and keeping the action comprehensible. The action works well because the gore is so damn good. The bodies explode with blood and the futuristic weapons vaporize people into bones. The monsters skulk in all kinds of creepy ways too. The acting on the character’s faces is well done and you’re never confused as to what they are feeling.
It can’t be perfect can it?
The concluding pages move a little too quickly and seem to be included as shock value, but we don’t know the seemingly good character well enough to care. Heisserer doesn’t give us enough reason to be shocked since we hardly know them which makes the cliffhanger more of a “so what” than an “oh wow” kind of ending.
While the art is strong as far as gore and action go, it’s a little weak in the quieter moments. It might be due to a relaxed layout structure, but the pace drops to a slog when there isn’t a monster or an arm flying off in the panel.
Is It Good?
The premise suits this homage to the classic manga very well while the action will make you want more.
You’ll want to read more after this issue that is for sure, but will it sustain the base it establishes? Hard to say!
Look for this one on shelves January 6.