For many heroes, being able to survive in apocalyptic futures and perhaps turn the course of history for the better ultimately boils down to being some sort of chosen one who just happens to be blessed with special, otherworldly gifts.
For others like the heroes in this week’s best new comics though, their strength comes from being tested and tried by the unique circumstances of their lives.
In Afterglow, a great calamity called the Glowing leaves most of the world irradiated and forever mutated. Societies largely collapse and people revert to simpler lifestyles as they fight to survive on the strange new Earth where water can be poisonous and “regular” animals now grow enormous.
Dangerous as this new world is, there’s also a wild, radiant beauty to it that only Lacey, a young girl who lost her parents to the Glowing, is truly able to appreciate.
Lacey’s determination to succeed, and her fondness for the world’s creatures, make her a bright light in her otherwise dull village that fears change and disruption.
But the thing that makes her unique amongst her peers is her resolute belief in the cryptic visions of the future her mother shared with her as a child.
Like most living things that survived the Glowing, Lacey’s mother was left changed in ways that made some believe her to be beyond saving, but Lacey holds on to a journal containing her mother’s predictions partially to have something of her family close to her, but also because she’s certain that the next coming apocalypse her mother predicted is something she can prevent. (Pat Shand, K. Lynn Smith, Jim Campbell, Space Between Entertainment)
In the world of Massimo Rosi and Eduardo Mello’s The Blackening, a vicious, cancer-like plague sweeps across the planet and threatens to wipe out all of humanity.
Helpless to find a means of stopping the disease, many people choose to have their organic brains implanted into sophisticated, cybernetic frames. For those fortunate enough to be born into a high enough social class to warrant a synthetic body, life is largely carefree when the environment’s erratic weather isn’t wreaking havoc on their homes.
Anthony Ankerman enjoys a quiet, stable life with his husband Luke and their adopted daughter, Skye. Even though the larger world is falling apart, things are going well for them right up until the day when Tony comes home to find Luke’s cyborg body mangled, and his brain and Skye long missing.
Just outside the bubble of Tony’s life, a series of events have been set in motion involving his family, and if rumours are to be believed, the future of human life on Earth.
What Tony begins to realise, as it becomes clear that the police aren’t going to help, is that if he wants to actually do something to change the position he’s found himself in, he’ll have to be willing to become someone - and perhaps something - different entirely. (Massimo Rosi, Eduardo Mello, Adelli, Amigo Comics)