The Wicked Righteous is a story where a biological attack kills everyone in the world with two exceptions: 1) All children and 2) anyone who has taken a life.
Before we go any further, allow me a moment to cringe. First off this premise sounds eerily like Y the Last Man written by renowned comic book writer Brian K. Vaughan. In Y the Last Man, a biological attack kills anyone in the population with a Y chromosome (all men). This awesome series went on to win an Eisner award and is regarded as one of Vaughan’s best works. I pray that Terry Mayo has at least heard of the series and didn’t inadvertently knock off one of the best graphic novels in the last 15 years.
Secondly, unlike the Y chromosome (something that connects all the deaths), The Wicked Righteous makes us swallow a huge pill. A biological attack that discerns age and criminal rap sheet? Please.
This is the world of the Wicked and the Righteous…and the children will lead them all."
As I mentioned earlier, there is a religious element at play. Some Bible-based comics shove the message down your throat in hopes that you’ll go to church. This is not one of them and for that I commend Mayo. He goes a more subtle route utilizing the Bible as inspiration, that doesn’t come off as preachy. The four brothers had a religious upbringing and as a result of the attack, Lucas turns away from God and Matt is drawn closer to God. Also, if you hadn’t caught on, the brothers are named after Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, Gospels in the Bible.
The art is a strength of this book. I must warn you, despite being about kids this M-Rated book is gory. Chris Hall did an excellent job of executing (pun intended) when it came to that gore. However, he uses the same gold color tone in the background throughout the entire issue, which gets boring after a while. The repetitive background really detracts from the rest of the art, which is quite good. Lucas Romero did a solid job with pencils and character creation. I also enjoyed his use of inks, creating great shadows setting the tone. The deadly gang members in the back half of the book are so unique and well done by the two artists. Just like the writing, my only wish is that they hadn’t made the brothers so generic looking. There is nothing special or differentiating about them. You won’t be seeing any “Matt/Mark/Lucas Cosplays” anytime soon.
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