REVIEW: After Dark
Thursday, July 1, 2010 - 23:41
Creators: Antoine Fuqua & Wesley Snipes
Writer: Peter Milligan
Artist: Jeff Netrup
Letterer: Sara Biddle
Cover: Franceso “Matt” Mattina
When I first heard about this new series from Radical, I was skeptical. After all, celebrities “creating” comics has been trés chic among those with an idea and enough money to hire the best in the business to bring their ideas to life. Wesley Snipes, however, is a well-known comic aficionado and as a fan of his movie work I decided I owed him at least a look at this book. With Peter Milligan writing it, had to be at least readable.
I was pleasantly surprised.
The basic concept of the story is that sometime in the not-too-distant future, mankind has ruined our world and the masses live in a drug-addled stupor trying simply to kill time between birth and death. In this first issue, the back story isn’t expounded on much, but what is immediately clear is that the world of near-eternal darkness that Earth has become is a direct result of something humanity did (or failed to do) only a couple of generations past. Dwelling in domed cities, rarely leaving and outside of their closed-in worlds, few are aware of the true extent of the destruction.
This doesn’t stop those in power from attempting to bring about change. Whether the change is designed to help or hinder the masses is unclear, but there’s no doubt that society’s elite believe it will be beneficial to themselves. Enter the hero of the series, a futuristic Bedouin named simply Omar, dragooned into the service of the leaders of Solar City (which we are not-so-subtly led to believe is the last bastion of humanity’s high technology) who believe that in the uncharted wastelands of the world exists their savior.
Before anything else, I must say that the art throughout this book is gorgeous. I recognized the style of cover artwork by Matt Mattina immediately from covers done for Marvel over the last several years, but I was equally impressed by Jeff Netrup’s interior art. The art is alternately crisp and shockingly stark, and ethereally gloomy – perfect for a world locked in near-perpetual darkness. I can’t say enough good things about the artwork.
The story seems somewhat familiar, but I was enthralled. As the publisher’s blurb states, the world of this comic is quite possibly our own future should we as a species make that catastrophic mistake some have long feared. Peter Milligan’s pacing and dialogue intrigued me and I was disappointed when the story ended so soon. While not normally much on post-apocalyptic fiction, I can’t help but eagerly await the next issue of this book.
Radical has a history of placing extremely high quality books onto an extremely crowded comic wrack, and I think they’ve hit upon their next big win.