Antony Johnston and Christopher Mitten beautifully tie up Michael and Abi’s loose ends in an unusual issue of Wasteland, as Oni’s post-apocalyptic epic approaches its climax.
In a world left fractured and all but destroyed by the Big Wet, Wasteland reflects the human condition in a post-apocalyptic setting, and its fascinating array of characters reflect all walks of race, religion, and socio-economic status.
While some characters are driven by the need to assist mankind to survive, others are full of goat shit and serve only their own interests. As we learn with this issue, it is possible that one person can positively affect the lives of others as they wander, search, and journey toward their own purpose.
During its eight-year run, Wasteland has offered special interlude issues that breach the space between story arcs. The interlude offered in #25 remains a fan favorite, as Christopher Mitten was turned loose to create the series’ only all-color issue.
#52 serves as a prelude to the book’s final eight issues by offering a forward glance at the lives Michael and Abi have touched along their journey. For example, the Sultan Ameer carried on his wandering and trading; Katya left the Sultan’s caravan and became a goat herder; and Katya’s brother, Hart, became a ruin runner.
Courtesy of the final journal of Ankya Ofsteen, this issue also offers some insight into the future relationship between Newbegin and Wosh-Tun. Although the cities will grow, it’s unlikely that they will ever trust each other enough to ever finish the metalroad. Ankya’s unforgettable tale ends with her finding a home and creating a family.
Antony Johnston and Christopher Mitten are a dynamic creative pair. This is a minimalistic issue, filled with full-page presentations of the people whose lives have changed due to Michael and Abi’s presence.
Johnston keeps the explanations simple and to the point; Wasteland isn’t a world for superfluous talk. Mitten uses a stark approach to the art that is rich in texture and well thought out in design. His thin lines express deeper perspective within, and his thick dark lines lend gravity to all of his subjects.
Every page reminds you that this world is a dangerous desert and no place for the weak of spirit. Get ready to cherish the next eight issues.
Antony Johnston (W), Christopher Mitten (A), Oni Press, $3.99, March 19, 2014