The reviews are in, and Wasteland #33 is a hit.
This special $1 issue was designed as the perfect jumping-on point for new readers to join the story in Oni Press’ longest ongoing title. Writer Antony Johnston and artist Justin Greenwood have big plans for the Big Wet, and the consensus is that they’re off to an exciting start.
Ryan K. Lindsay over at Comic Book Resources sums up the book’s intentions perfectly when he writes: “It is obvious things have happened before this issue. Is it imperative you know every single one of those events? No. The major swipes of the brush are delivered in a recap at the start of the book and anything else will not affect your reading of this issue. For an issue meant to entice new readers, there are many effective factors at play. The character work, the loose yet informative dialogue, and the forward-moving narrative all work in unison to pull new readers in and then push them forward as quickly as possible…I haven’t read any Wasteland before, but these 22 pages have everything needed to draw the reader in.”
He goes on to give Wasteland #33 four stars. CBR also has a preview of the issue.
Jason Clyma at Broken Frontier is another first time reader, and he says: “For fans of post-apocalyptic stories, Wasteland proves to be a unique offering in a genre that offers a countless variety of choices. Antony Johnston takes full advantage of the beginning of a new storyline to catch readers up on his world, while also including several stressful situations that heighten the tension. When considering the all too reasonable price of the issue there truly is no reason not to give Wasteland a glance.”
At IGN, Imad Khan ranks the book an 8.5 out of 10 and says: “The characters really drive the story and the environment only accentuates everyone’s eccentricities. The ending has a surprise twist that will leave you wanting more. Rarely do we see a book whose environments and characters work together so synonymously.”
Likewise, IGN’s Josh West also scores Wasteland #33 as an 8-pointer: “You quickly get the sense that a lot has come before this issue, but Johnston never lets it become overbearing. If anything, it helps to quickly establish a living, breathing ecosystem that new and lapsed readers should easily jump into.”
Inside Pulse’s James Fulton is excited to see Wasteland on the stands, enthusing in his Comics Nexus column, “In my opinion, some of the best news of the New Year is that Wasteland is back, and that the creators are committed to putting the book out on a monthly schedule again.” He goes on to praise new artist Justin Greenwood: “Justin Greenwood does a good job with this debut issue…he does handle the characters quite well.”
Edward Kaye at Newsarama is a long-time reader of Wasteland, and gives the issue a full 10 out of 10 score. He says, “The dialog in the issue is incredibly well written, as Johnston has created a very rich dialect that is spoken by the people in this post-apocalyptic landscape, and subtle differences seem to exist between pockets of survivors. The story told in the issue is very well paced, and spends just the right proportion of time on character development, action, and seeding the storyline of the next issue…Wasteland is one of the very best post apocalyptic stories out there, in comic format or otherwise, and it desperately deserves a place on your pull-list.”
Andrew Leslie of the Freakin’ Awesome Network concurs, noting that the book revives a tired genre: “In an almost Darwinian uphill battle, Wasteland emerges from the muckity-muck of post-apoc literature to give readers something other than the usual ‘Holy crap, the world is over! What do we do now!?’” He adds, “The hallmark of any great genre piece is that it can hold its own as a non-genre work. Are the characters well-crafted enough to still be interesting if the world hadn’t ended? Will the story still be interesting if the setting wasn’t so extreme? In the case of Wasteland the answer to both is an emphatic, ‘yes.’”
Wasteland #33 is on stands now, and at only $1, there’s little risk in taking the critics’ word for it and sampling the comic. Wasteland #34 will be released on February 15, and you’ll want to be on board so you can keep up with everything that’s happening!