Black Mask Studios presents The Wilds, from writer Vita Ayala (Bitch planet: Triple feature, Wonder Woman annual), artist Emily Pearson, colorist Marrissa Louise and cover artist Natasha Alterici.
The Wilds has a standard apocalypse-zombie plot; a pandemic causes people to feel ill before they ultimately begin to change into zombie-like beings. However, instead of the usual living dead and decaying flesh typically associated with zombies, they chose to portray a colorful array of physical mutations. Although the abominations do not speak (at least in the first issue), their actions are kind of mysterious. After the first issue, the reader is left wondering what their intelligence level is and what’s left of the person they used to be. Although some experience violence that would kill a normal person, it is also unclear if they are actually dead.
The main character Daisy Walker is a frustratingly stubborn, married to the job, black, lesbian woman. As a runner, it’s her job to go into the wilds, between the compounds to trade medicine, food and other highly in-demand supplies. Although it didn’t happen in the first issue, from the synopsis, it appears the only thing that will phase Daisy and remove her from her job is when her girlfriend goes missing.
In the first issue, the reader is equipped with a strong understanding of who Daisy Walker is and who she isn’t. While other runners have apparently become less than satisfied with their jobs, Daisy holds on to her strong sense of duty not to her superiors, but to her community, the people she really serves. Sometimes characters like Daisy are very transparent and easily labeled as a “Mary Sue.” However, Daisy and her story were written with such care, that she is anything but superficial.
It’s apparent that this is a story that is going to build slowly, but from what I’ve seen so far the wait will likely be worth it. Hitting stores on February 28, 2018, The Wilds is a must read for those interested in dystopian and apocalyptic storylines.