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herbertwest [Celluloid 12.19.07] post apocalyptic review scifi comic

Year: 2008
Release Date: January, 2008
Publisher: Red 5 Comics
Publisher website: link
Authors: Scott Chitwood & Paul Ens
Art: Wayne Nichols
Cataclysm Type: Solar Flare
Review By: Herbert West
Rating: 7 out of 10

"Amid Chaos there's profit" is one of the first sentiments we hear from our lead character Jake and is a very fitting introduction to the themes of AFTERBURN. In a world half destroyed, the treasures left behind such as the Mona Lisa, The Crown Jewels, and The Rosetta Stone are all up for grabs and are being sold to the highest bidder, Unfortunately the world is now being roamed by pirates and mutated masses and our adventurers have to survive to get paid.

The Story:
A very unfortunate solar flare strikes the dayside of the Earth, destroying the entire eastern hemisphere leaving it decimated, mutated, but more importantly, full of treasure. That is the basic premise of Afterburn. We follow Jake and his crew as they have to fight their way past mutants (French ones no less), pirates, rival hunters, and oh yes mutant sharks! Apparently, the surviving Westerners have realized that within the remains must be some of the greatest treasures known to man and it doesn't take long for new opportunities for danger seekers to turn a good profit.

In this first issue we see a very interesting look at a nearly destroyed Paris, France as the crew infiltrates the world famous Louvre. Next thing you know a simple hunt for The Mona Lisa turns into a gun battle, a motorcycle chase, a daring helicopter escape, and eventually a battle with pirates and that mutant shark.

The Rating:
I sat down with a copy of the first of this four issue mini series and it most assuredly did not disappoint. It starts off maybe a little too quickly with just a few page explanation of the flare, but then again the story really isn't about the devastation as much as it is about good old fashioned treasure hunting. The narrative starts off a little slow, but once the action kicks in it's all good times to be had. The humor is on point finding time to both poke fun at the fact that the world famous Notre Dame is now swimming with hump back mutants and that even in dire times the French still speak very funny. The dialog between characters is very amusing as are the wonderful use of simplistic action words. I was pleasantly surprised how amusing I found the use of the word "chomp" to be. It was so unexpected that it had me rolling. The artwork of Mr. Nichols is very well fitted to the story as it has a very minimalist feel much in the same way Preacher used. His art definitely pulls the focus to the action in the scene and does a wonderful job of expressing the comical tones in the book. Overall, I really did have a great time reading Afterburn, and I just hope that the authors get a chance to show off their world in the three issues they have left as there are so many great places this book can go.

Afterburn is a four issue bi-monthly series which starts in January, 2008. Red 5 Comics is still a new publisher, fans should contact their local comic shop in November 2007 and pre-order Diamond PREVIEWS code NOV073786 to ensure their copy.

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