RADIO APOCALYPSE #1/ Script by RAM V/ Art by ANAND RK/ Colors by ANISHA/ Letters by ADITYA BIDKAR/ Published by VAULT COMICS
One of the more entertaining features of the more recent run of Fallout games was the option to connect to various radio stations as you wandered the post-apocalyptic wasteland. Dean Martin’s crooning served as an ironic counterpoint to the endless battles with various raiders and you occasionally got news updates related to your most recent adventures. (Well, unless you opted to hunt down and kill the local DJ.) While this is not cited as an influence on Radio Apocalypse #1, I can’t help but feel it comes from the same lonely ennui felt by any wanderer whose only companion on the road was the voices and music on the radio.
Radio Apocalypse #1 is set in a similar post-apocalyptic wasteland, born of a meteor strike that destroyed Civilization As We Know It. What’s left of humanity is struggling to get to the few safe places that remain, as a new breed of mutant monster called Xinos roam the wastelands unimpeded at night. In one part of the country, the only beacon to guide the way is Radio Apocalypse – the last radio station in the village of Bakerstown. This is the story of one young orphan and how his destiny became tied to the radio station after a robbery gone wrong.
The artwork by Anand RK is rough and gritty, born of a street aesthetic that suits the dark setting perfectly. This is contrasted by the vivid neon colors of Anisha. The effect is visually arresting and immediately interesting, guiding the reader as easily as Ram V’s narrative. It stands apart well from the audio element of the book, as Ram V gives instructions on which music the reader should listen to at certain key moments when specific songs are referenced. This is an interesting idea, but the book works even without the gimmick.
Some many dismiss Radio Apocalypse #1 as a gimmick-driven comic that uses music to distinguish itself from all the other post-apocalyptic comics on the shelves. Your mileage may vary, but I personally think the comic stands on its own even if you don’t elect to play along with the interactive element. In either case, the end of the world never sounded so good.
Radio Apocalypse #1 releases on November 17, 2021.