Image Comics 2015
Written by Alex De Campi
Illustrated by Carla Speed McNeil
Coloured by Jenn Manley Lee
When this book debuted I read it on a whim because it was a number one issue and what I found was the kind of story that could be ripped from today’s headlines or a novel or a big screen thriller the whole premise that a group of incoming college freshmen go to South America on a once in a lifetime trip that goes horribly wrong yeah it’s the kind of stuff that makes reading more fun because it isn’t that far from reality.
The bus they were traveling on had an accident and tumbled off the road down a steep mountain hill and they try to regroup. There’s danger all around them and not just from the coyote’s roaming but from rebel forces and drug lords whose region they are in making things that much more tense. Of the fifteen kids on the bus only ten still live after the crash and what we see from them here is remarkable from the scared and hopeless to the ones who step up and act while still afraid Alex has managed to really get the reader invested in these kids and this story.
The scene with Tiffani while she cries over Lily refusing to accept the truth about what’s happened that’s powerful stuff that’s completely raw and honest. As she sings to Lily and tries to comfort her, not to mention herself it’s sad and uplifting at the same time but the heartbreak is overwhelming. Travis in an attempt to entertain inadvertently puts out the fire which is the cue for the coyotes to come attack. They do and they take the dead and attack the weakest it’s culling the herd, animals will scavenge and take the easiest prey before putting themselves at risk.
I can’t get over how much I like this story from Alex and then Carla & Jenn’s work in bringing it to life. You see the good and the bad here there’s no sugar coating here it’s stark reality at it’s finest as some rise to the occasion to fight off the coyote’s and others cower in fear unable to react. You learn as much about these characters from how they are depicted on the page as you do from the writing and this kind of synergy is what makes this so darn good. There’s one moment when we see that the quiet kid, who has yet to be named, reads lips and understand what’s being asked and goes off to do it and you think maybe it isn’t just that he’s quiet but he’s deaf or hearing impaired and this adds just another layer to the story.
The story becomes such an intense fight for survival and it’s raw brutal honesty in the portrayal of the coyote attack really leaves such an impact upon the reader.
Intense, honest and incredibly well told this is a story you cannot miss.