Monday, April 22, 2019

Longbox Junk - Winter World

Hey there, folks!

Here's another one of my older reviews I've decided to blow the dust off of and rescue from the forgotten archives of a well-known comic site I used to work for that barely even cares about comic reviews any more.  Except for a bit of rubbing my sleeve on it to shine up a few spots and add creator credits, this one is ALMOST exactly the way it was originally published. . .mainly because I don't have these issues any more.  Must have sold or traded them somewhere down the line, so I don't have the opportunity for a re-read or to scan any interior artwork.  

Ready for a quick one?  Let's do it!

Travel back in time with me, Ladies and Gentlemen. Marvel at the smoooooooth texture of this new thing called "Baxter Paper". Where are we? We're in a time without Facebook or smartphones. We're in the year 1987 and taking a look at Eclipse Comics' three issue mini, "Winter World".


WINTER WORLD

ECLIPSE (1987)
SCRIPTS: Chuck Dixon
PENCILS: Jorge Zaffino
COVERS: Jorge Zaffino

Issue 1

The setting is about 100 years in the future. The world is pretty much frozen over for some reason not explained (at least in the 1st issue). The main character, Scully, is a travelling trader in what was once Texas.

He encounters some bandits and with the help of his. . .er. . .trained badger. . .frees a young girl (Wynn) being held by them. On the way to drop her off at a settlement, they are attacked and taken prisoner to work as slaves at "The Farm" a settlement in an old covered baseball stadium.

After Scully is sent to die working in the sewers, he manages to escape with the help of Superbadger. . .and the tale ends with Scully deciding to be an A-hole and leaving Wynn behind to save his own hide. Whether or not the badger agrees or not isn't really touched on.

A simple, yet strong start. The trained badger is a bit of an awkward ex machina that I'm sure can be explained with two words: "The Eighties".  Anyone who remembers "The Beastmaster" will know what I'm sayin'.

Other than badger nonsense, I have high hopes that this will continue to be an enjoyable read. One other thing for those reading this. . .this series is NOT for kids. It's violent, has a bit of nudity, and doesn't shy away from bad language at all.

Issue 2


Not as good as the first issue, but still strong. Scully decides he has a heart after all and decides to go back to The Farm to rescue Wynn. To help him in his rescue mission, he recruits a tribe of people who live in a Pizza Hut.

 They infiltrate The Farm by letting themselves get sold as slaves. Scully gets a finger cut off as punishment for escaping the first time. Probably not part of the plan. The second chapter ends with Scully and the bear clan warriors inside and waiting for their chance to strike.

Not much going on in this issue except setup for the final chapter. I guess this is what I get for going with a 3 issue series. Oh. . .the badger is still the most resourceful bada$$ in the book. HE didn't get a finger cut off, anyway.

Issue 3

It's pretty much all action for the finale to this short series. Wynn messes up Scully's plan to rescue her by escaping to rescue him first. In the process, all hell breaks loose. Fire, explosions, a brutal knife fight, Rahrah the superbadger comes to Wynn's rescue! 

Bigbite and the bear clan think Scully betrayed them and vow vengeance. After their escape, Scully and Wynn decide to go south after they see an airplane flying in that direction, not knowing that the lone bear clan survivor is following them.

Overall, this issue was a VERY fast read. The art wasn't as good as the previous issues. . .something wrong with the colors and too much ink. Still, it was a strong finish to the story that nicely sets up the next chapter. . .er. . .27 years later!

CONCLUSION

All in all, this was a short, sweet, and quick reading mini. I thought it was pretty good for what it was. . .an introduction to a new world. Unfortunately, that world so well introduced in this series wasn't revisited for a LONG time. As a standalone tale though, it does a good job. There were weak parts, like the Superbadger, but otherwise I'd suggest this mini for a good read.

And there it is. . .Winter World. An extremely grim vision of the future.
You may now return to laughing at the kitty videos on your Facebook feed.

2019 CONCLUSION UPDATE
Not much to add here this time.  As I mentioned above, somewhere over the past 10 years or so since I wrote this, I've either sold or traded these issues, so I can't do a re-read.  That said, I think the interesting thing here is seeing just how much more long-winded I've become without an editorial hand on my leash.  This whole three issue review is about as long as a write-up of a single issue would be for me these days.  Is that a good thing or a bad thing?  I must ponder this important question. . .

Next up. . .

Another "Rescue Review"

Fair Warning.  I considered the next series the LOW bar for Longbox Junk for quite a few years. IDW and Wildstorm's X-Files/30 Days of Night crossover.  

 Be there or be square!