Page 45 Review by Stephen
"I had a family once.
"It didn't work out."
Well, this is all jolly European: the lines, the light, and the full-frontal nudity.
It's male, by the way, and he's blonde if that makes any difference to you.
It's all very male here - hardly a woman in sight - perhaps reflecting the patriarchal nature of the Old Testament. Or maybe the women have all seen the brutal, bloody violence ahead and quite wisely eschewed an appearance in favour of something more sedate like a dog fight or a rugby match.
It's all very western too, with a lone stranger wandering the wide-open landscapes - albeit muddy, faecal-flooded landscapes littered with carcasses being torn into by rabid wolves. He wandered into town last night, got set upon and sliced open by the Bone Boys. After lying face-down in excrement for hours, he seems much better this morning. Not a scar on his body. He's going to mosey back into now, and there will be much "tohewen" and "toshrede".
It's 1600 years after Eden and, my, how Man has fallen! Or been pushed.
Even according to the Bible, Man's tenure on this planet didn't get off to a particularly good start, but I reckon God's punishment of Eve was a slight overreaction to the relatively mild malfeasance of scrumping. Just one generation later and our chief protagonist and narrator got a little angry and raised the delinquency bar considerably by inventing both murder and fratricide in the very same skull-splitting moment. Can you guess who it is yet?
"My brother was an asshole. The first two children born into the world and we couldn't fucking stand each other. That alone ought to tell you how fucked we all are."
Since then our man / Methuselah with a mission to die has been cursing God for making him live in a Jim Foetus song:
"I'm watching my life swirl down the drain
And I feel about as Abel as Cain
But I guess that that's the price of fame
When you're destined to live in this Street Of Shame."
Destined to live there forever, by the looks of things. Still, at least they've invented alcohol.
I love Cain's moody, scowling drawl, like an embittered cowboy who's seen too much to let anything impress or excite him anymore. It's ever so far from Biblical and therefore instantly iconoclastic. I almost expected him to refer to Adam and Eve as "Mom and Pop".
Both appear briefly in a bright and radiantly colourful, foliage-festooned flashback which emphasises all the more how bleak, beleaguered and utterly hopeless life on planet Earth is since God's great experiment decidedly "gan aglay". There are no flowers, butterflies, clean, flowing, fresh-water rivers or indeed trees since Noah's been charged with chopping them down for the very first invitation-only, global Cunard cruise.
Noah and his wandering disciples are no more Godly than the Reavers or Night Raiders, by the way. With fire and iron, they're simply a lot more efficient in carrying out the ultimate executive order. But then if life had truly degenerated to the point where a woman had to announce even to her protector that "You can't fuck me without a fight, if that's what you're thinking" before adding of her son, "The boy, either" then I'd certainly have flooded it too.
The art which you will never be able to unsee - it is highly accomplished and very beautiful but what it depicts is squalid in the extreme - is reminiscent of Brent Anderson's on KA-ZAR with a Barry Windsor-Smith modelling. No jungles, except in that flashback, but many more cleaved skulls and gigantic dinosaurs guaranteed. When a lone splendid peacock shows up, its beak is dripping in freshly pecked blood.
From the creative team behind SCALPED. There wasn't much hope there, either.
Cruelly, there is a brief glimmer here, for both Cain and two of those whom he encounters. Against all odds, which are firmly stacked against them.
I have no idea of where this series could conceivably go.