Lola Jones is a woman on a mission; a mission to cross the Wastelands in order to reunite with her family. Along the way she has forged friendships, teams and with judicious application of a mutiny managed to escape the clutches of Edger and his Wasteland Trading Company. Now her posse continues its journey across the perilous Wasteland as they head for the town of Artemis.
This issues serves a few purposes. Firstly, we see the ramifications for Lola and her gangs escape. There are fresh wounds to consider and a bounty on all their heads to worry about. Secondly, we are introduced to one of the big bads’ for this volume, Cowboy Bane and his quest for a kid for some reason. Thirdly and finally there is the continuance of Lola growing as a character and of course the interest that a young beautiful woman will garner around so many men, Some of this amorous, with others taking a more fatherly role. Still when all three threads clash in Artemis, a second more standard threat returns and leaves the group and Lola in the thick of the action.
Siya Oum provides both story and illustrations for her own creation. Taking the writing first; what starts with an inner monologue quickly gives way to actual dialogue, which is a mix of setup, the obvious and interesting character dynamics. It’s the latter that really shines, especially with how the guys perception of Lola changes when they all get a chance to let their hair down. Human nature it seems is still quite alive out in the Wastelands.
As solid a job Oum does with the writing, I imagine the majority of her fans will be drawn to the art. As with her previous issues, there is a painted style to the colors in play that gives the book a different look to most books out on the rack. Oum’s figure work is excellent, her eye for camera details is equally as good given as there are quite a few talking heads to contend with. If there was anything that I would maybe make further comment on is the difference of the faces when the characters in single panels or in a group. When the characters are by themselves, the faces are open eyes and mouths have definition. Whereas when there are two or more it seems that the eyes disappear and mouths become either a straight line or a smile. Still the latter does convey elements of the story and I know it must be sunny out in Artemis, but do people really talk with their eyes closed?
Minor quibbles aside, such as the identity of the second big bad, this series is one that offers a likeable character trying to do a simple thing, whilst dealing with the barriers of environment and circumstance coupled with overcoming people expectations of her. Sounds likes a tall order? With a book of this quality, I am sure that Siya Oum is more than up to those challenges as is Lola herself.
Writing – 4 Stars
Art – 4.5 Stars
Writer / Artist: Siya Oum
Publisher: Aspen Comics