ApocalyptiGirl Graphic Novel ReviewApril 23, 2015
If I were asked to describe Dark Horse Comics’ ApocalyptiGirl: An Aria for the End Times, I’d say it’s Fallout meets Adventure Time with the art style of Samurai Jack. If that sounds like an absolutely amazing combination, trust me: it is.
While I’m admittedly not a big comic reader, I know when I’m having fun reading a good story. I also know when I see art and coloring that’s so beautiful it jumps off the page (pardon the cliché).
ApocalytiGirl takes place on Earth in the future, which is apparent by the state of things. Buildings lay abandoned and crumbling, and nature seems to have reclaimed the planet for herself. All that’s left of humanity are two warring factions (the Blue Stripes and the Grey Beards), and Aria with her pet cat/boyfriend Jelly Beans (it’s complicated).
What’s great about the story is that it doesn’t need to be told with words, and thankfully so because it would be quite a long tale. Rather, Andrew MacLean uses the action and artwork within to fill in the details, both big and small. And it’s a beautiful journey that he takes the reader on. The world is very believable in its post-apocalypse phase, and even though the way in which the planet died is not 100% clear, I couldn’t care less.
This is because the story isn’t really about the planet or its inhabitants – it’s about Aria (and Jelly Beans). What starts as an assumed story about a girl with a cat (and a gun and a sword and motorcycle) trying to survive Mad Max-esque crazies soon evolves to so much more. I don’t want to spoil too much, but in short, Aria is on a mission that involves booting up an old robot she calls Gus, and finding something very important that’s causing her armband to beep.
Meanwhile, she has a run-in with a young barbarian from the Blue Stripes, and this moves up her mission priorities as she soon becomes the hunted. This leads to the greatest use of space on a comic page I’ve seen in some time. The action sequences really give the eyes a treat, with great use of facial expressions, splattered blood, and flying limbs. All this action culminates in a grand finale that adds a little bit of a twist, bringing the gorgeous 96-pager to a satisfying and unexpected end (although reading it was such a treat, I truly wish it was much longer).
ApocalyptiGirl has everything you could want in a futuristic sci-fi adventure: feuding war factions, giant robots, strong heroines with guns and swords, and adorable kitty companions. Okay, maybe my idea of a solid sci-fi adventure isn’t what some would call typical, but regardless of your ideals, you owe it to yourself to check out this amazing story of friendship, redemption, and ultimately, hope.[Image via Dark Horse Comics]