Published on June 11th, 2014 | by JCDoyle0
Wildfire #1 – Comic Review
Genetically Modified Organisms are the name o the game in this science heavy disaster tale set in the city of Los Angeles. It opens with a news report of a devastating fire sweeping through the city with no indication as to what is actually happening. The story then time shifts back three days to introduce the lead scientist of a University Genetics program, Dr Beth Silva, and the head of an Advocacy Group against GE Food, Dr Gerald Lerner. During a TV interview that become’s heated Dr Silva makes an overstated case for her work which leads to a string of events that have consequences for the entire city.
The majority of the narrative follows Dr Silva’s lab assistant Dan Miller who is obsessed with his work trying to perfect an accelerated plant growth process but also has responsibilities at home in the shape of a teenage sister. Out of everyone introduced in this issue, Dan is the one character who seems to be able to see how it’s all going to end badly but lacks the gumption to do anything about it.
There’s no real surprise that something is going to go wrong with the scientific experiments and the Anti-playing-God group is not a new invention but that doesn’t matter because the story is still engaging. The script is very conversation heavy as you might expect from a story set around a University Science Project but that doesn’t mean there aren’t light moments and Matt Hawkins introduces some funny moments between Dan and his sister. Over all the script is fresh and exciting despite it’s less than original start. Each character is well defined even though they only have a short introduction, for example the determination of Dr Silva is made obvious through her frantic actions and Jeff the activist reeks of trouble long before he turns up at the university.
Part of this characterisation is in the hands of the artist, Linda Sejic, who creates a pleasing aesthetic with characters that are easy to recognise. She manages to give the wordy script a lot of dynamic and plays with the panel boarders to help express the emotion of the characters. To be honest, the opening sequence with down town LA blazing away in the night hooked me in, the shades and colours on the simple two page spread are gorgeous but the horror on the newsreaders face reminds you of the seriousness of the events unfolding in the background.
I’m not sure from this opening issue where the story is going to go, if it’s going to be a ‘Stop the disaster from becoming worse’ type tale or a ‘survive in the aftermath’ story however I am eager to find out. The writer and the artist have, between them, made an old disaster story idea seem new and exciting again and that’s definitely something I can get behind.
Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Matt Hawkins
Artist: Linda Sejic