Wild’s End: The Enemy Within #1
Written by Dan Abnett
Illustrated and Lettered by I.N.J. Culbard
I heard about Wild’s End when iFanboy.com made the first issue their pick of the week, but I’ve been waiting for the trade (Out next week, according to Amazon). From what I understand, it was a charming story about a world of anthropomorphic animals in the early parts of the 20th Century. Aliens invade a small British village, and a group of brave cats, dogs, and the like banded together to defeat one of the invaders.
Though I came to the sequel with no more knowledge than that, this book was easily accessible. As the book begins, five animals are under house arrest as the British government interrogates them about the alien invasion they fought, and the animals realize that they are suspected of being aliens in disguise. The fox (named Fawkes) loses his crap about the accusations, while the piglet just kind of accepts it and hopes his mum is okay. To aid in the paranoid investigation, the military summons two science fiction writers as consultants. One cannot contain his disdain for the commercial success of the other’s dumbed-down “scientific romance” novels, and the witty repartee is only elevated by the fact that this is a cat hating a histrionic Irish Setter.
The plot in this book is pretty slow, spending most of the time gathering the major players on either side of the house arrest, but the intelligent humor of the dialogue and the whimsy of the art make this a thoroughly enjoyable read. Dan Abnett brings a lot of trust from science fiction successes like Guardians Of The Galaxy and Hypernaturals, and though I have been unfamiliar with Culbard’s work, the team works together smoothly. I recommend folks head down to Ultimate Comics in Raleigh or Durham to get in at the beginning of this blend of cute talking doggies and grim paranoid sci-fi, and maybe ask Al to save you a copy of the first trade.