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Birth of the Axelverse (The Resistance #1 Review)


Writer: J. Michael Straczynski

Artist: Mike Deodato Jr.

Colorist: Frank Martin

Cover: Rahzzah

Publisher: AWA Studios

Rating: 10/10

Song: Judgement Day by Method Man

Let’s just get it out there. The World is in a weird state right now. When I say the World, I literally mean the entirety of all the inhabitable continents on the planet. The atmosphere is thick, the people are on edge, the Stock Market is at staggering low, entire States going in to some form of lockdown, supermarkets are wiped clean, social distancing has limited human interaction, all topped off with a global pandemic that has literally affected all aspect of human life. Whether you believe that this is a serious matter of human survival or think that the masses are overreacting, there’s no denying it’s overall effect: the fear and uncertainty. This is the stuff that makes for a great comic book. Years (or even months) from now, people will write comics set in the time of COVID-19 and they will have a lot of source material. But what if I told you that months ago, someone had already written a comic that is eerily similar to the current happenings of the world…

“Civilization is a hopeless race to discover remedies for the evils it produces.” - Rousseau

A global pandemic on an alternate Earth strikes hard and fast. They call it XV1N1. Put simply, it liquifies the internal organs, it's 100% contagious and 95% fatal. Governments said it would kill the human race within a year. Riots ensue and militaries are forced to take extreme measures to stop the spread, but it does nothing to contain it. No one knows where it came from, no one knows how to stop it. All that anyone had was speculation and blame. Then one day, the spread just stops. J. Michael Straczynski and Mike Deodato Jr. lays out all of this in cinematic fashion throughout the bulk of this issue but it's all the ground work. It's the setup. This comic is more than another global pandemic story. It is so so so much more. It's about what comes after. Those directly effected. Those reeling from the ramifications of millions of deaths. Those that rise to power. Those who gain the power and the decisions they will make with said powers. The atmosphere that Stracyznski creates is one of high tension and a wide range of possibility.

Stracyznski and Deodato reunite in this, the origin story of a new comic universe. While only an antagonist was officially introduced in this issue, it lays the foundation for a slew of new characters destined to intertwine and unravel a whole new plane of stories, heroes and villains. The writing foreshadows the levity of the impending doom this alternate Earth feels, and also provides an amazing visual of the things to come. The art is simply stellar. Deodato and Frank Martin paint a vast landscape and with only glimpses of the key players to come. While at first glance, you can easily regard this book as a setup for another superhero story, it’s so much more than that.

In the back of the issue, is a letter to the readers from Stracyznski and it describes the world they are building and how it came about with AWA Studies and Axel Alonso. In this letter, he lays out the puzzle pieces for us and whats to come from all this. I don’t know what he and the rest of AWA have planned for us, but with the other titles that exist on the same alternate Earth such as Archangel 8 and Hotell, it’s going to be something absolutely amazing, intriguing, and filled with so much creator-owned variables, it would be an absolute waste to miss out on these first issues.

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