Tales of humanity clinging to life and hope while the world as we know it is in absolute ruin will always be part of our popular culture. These stories speak to an optimism that readers can take solace in regardless of how bleak things may seem.
The Few, a new series from Image Comics, is looking to become a quintessential entry in this post-apocalyptic sub genre. It follows the journey of Edan Hale, a young woman from a totalitarian portion of North America called The Republic. She’s on a secret mission to infiltrate The Remainder States of America.
Mad Max Meets Station Eleven Sensibility
It’s immediately clear how dangerous the world has become. Edan is assaulted by Mad-Maxian marauders taking orders from a would-be warlord named Herrod. Barely escaping the slaughter of a small town, Edan finds herself on the run from Herrod’s minions. She manages to save one of the townsfolk babies in the process and is forced to bring the infant along for the ride.
After being left unconscious in the woods after fighting off her first wave of attackers, Edan wakes up to find herself in the care of a pair of survivalist brothers. These two marvel at both her escape as well as the infant she has in tow. With their help she and the baby make their escape from Herrod’s forward troops, fleeing.
She heads towards The Remainder States. We’re not told much about The States, only that it stands against the dictatorial ways of The Republic. Edan herself is unsure of just how much of a threat they pose.
A Post-Apocalyptic World
Sean Lewis’ writing is crisp and to the point, allowing much of the story to be told by Hayden Sherman’s superb art. There are bleak and barren landscapes of what was once Montana counterpointed by detailed character art. Sherman captures a broken future reminiscent of Steve Lieber’s work on Whiteout or Christopher Mitten’s Wasteland. Sherman’s scarce use of color, mostly red, highlights action and violence.
One of the best aspects about The Few is that it’s creators do not feel hold the readers hand when it comes to world building. Often these types of stories get too wrapped up in the foundations of why these newly-created world’s are so messed up. The Few parses out bits of information, but does so in sync with main character’s discovery. We learn more about the world and Edan’s place in it while frantically following her quest to survive.
Like many of her best post-apocalyptic contemporaries Edan is competent without being an over-the-top badass. She is vulnerable without being a weak-kneed maiden in need of a rescue. She is driven, with enough humanity in her to question what she has set out to do.
There is a great character emerging in Edan Hale that will leave readers wanting to see more of The Few.