PACKS OF THE LOWCOUNTRY [Advance Review]

Packs Of The Low Country Cover
PACKS OF THE LOWCOUNTRY/ Script by JOHN DUDLEY/ Art by DON CARDENAS/ Colors by KELLY FITZPATRICK, MARK DALE & DREW BROWNE/ Letters by DON CARDENAS & JOHN WESTHOFF

It has been sixteen years since the invasion. Nightmarish creatures, seemingly born from the mythology of old, filtered into the world and within weeks they had killed most of the human race.

Nobody knows where they came from or what they truly are. Aliens? Magical monsters? What little research has been done has focused on finding ways to kill the invaders rather than determining their origins.

The question of where the invaders came from is largely academic and there’s little time for such thoughts when the fate of the humanity is so uncertain. Just as there has been little time to question the origins of “The Users” – those people seemingly blessed with magical powers that make them more than human and a useful weapon against the invaders. It also makes them an object of suspicion in a world where trust is already rare.

Only one fortified city in the world is known to be totally free of invader influence. Yet rumors persist of a second city in the lowcountry of South Carolina. These rumors send an elite team into this hostile land, which is ruled over by The Baker Pack – a group of invaders who resemble werewolves!

Packs Of The Lowcountry presents an image of a world unlike anything in graphic literature today. While individual elements are likely to draw comparison to other series (The idea of a walled-compound defending itself from monsters begs comparison to Attack On Titan, for instance.), writer John Dudley fuses these familiar concepts into something unique. What initially seems to be another post-apocalyptic dystopia comic building on the success of The Walking Dead shifts gears, becoming something more familiar to traditional comic fans by the halfway point, as superpowers are introduced into the mix.

The artwork by Don Cardenas boasts an aesthetic born of 1990s Image Comics superhero books, with light inks and thin line work. While this style is an acquired taste, Cardenas finds a good balance between traditional superheroic action and the horror aspects of the series. Apart from a tendency towards odd expressions whenever a character’s mouth is open and a few forced poses, the artwork looks fantastic throughout.

A Kickstarter for a volume collecting the first six chapters was started recently. While the future shown in Packs Of The Lowcountry is a grim one, the future of this series will be bright indeed if future installments are as interesting as this first one.

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