Written by Fred Van Lente
Art by Stephen Segovia
Colours by Elmer Santos and Andrew Dalhousie
Letters by Dave Sharpe
Published by Valiant Entertainment
What happens after Furiosa kills Immortan Joe? While War Mother isn’t Fury Road, the plot is so similar that I couldn’t help but think this when I read the first issue. It’s an interesting concept and one that’s been explored before. What happens after the evil dictator is taken down and the person who killed them takes charge? Ana isn’t Furiosa and this isn’t the world of Mad Max but that’s okay because Ana can kick butt all on her own.
Fred Van Lente chooses this point in Ana’s story very carefully. She’s already had her epic battle against the big bad but her story is just beginning and her merit as the rightful leader of the people left behind is put to the test. Even though Sylvan (the evil chieftain) is dead, he still controlled the green that grew in their village. He’s dead and so is any chance of sustaining life where they are. This is a familiar conflict where the hero has to deal with the consequences of his/her actions. Does this immediate good deed have harmful long term effects? I don’t know how it will play out but Van Lente’s choice of action and the familiar conflict makes it easy to follow. The supporting cast has its’ high and low points. Ana’s gun is a symbiotic AI, her “war son” as it were and their back-and-forth is certainly more interesting than narrative captions. My big problem with the story is Ana’s husband/partner. Having familiar tropes can be good or bad for the plot and I think Ignacio’s inability to accept Ana’s role as leader is a tired and worn out trope that blames the female character for being the protagonist and leader because it makes the male character feel emasculated.
Stephen Segovia’s art is absolutely gorgeous and totally fits with the post-apocalyptic action feel this comic has going for it. The opening action scene is both easy to follow and really fun to see unravel on page. Simple and typical but gorgeous in its simplicity. When I say simple, I don’t mean in terms of art design but in terms of typical action scenes and beats. They follow a formula and that’s not necessarily a bad thing, it’s just predictable.
This first issue is a mixed bag for me. Between the familiar and predictable plot lines and the disappointing side characters, I’ll need another issue to decide whether or not this will be worth reading. If you like Mad Max: Fury Road, you should give this a try.