Synopsis: Ana is the War Mother. She traverses the inhospitable terrain of Earth in the year 4001 AD to provide for her people. Ana overthrew the terrible despot who made life in the Grove difficult for its people. While th act of liberation was welcomed at first, there are now serious repercussions. The ecosystem of the Grove is dying: Ana’s people have begun to starve. So when a message of salvation arrives, the War Mother and her sentient sidearm named Flaco traverse the dangers of the Jade to find hope for her dying people.
Review: War Mother #1 feels so different from the previous 4001 AD titles, yet its arrival marks a welcome addition to the series. The story feels brand new but nostalgic. There have been stories like this before, so this series gives you an Aeon Flux/Judge Dredd feel. Cyborg ravagers, the mention of different languages, and bio-organic weaponry all enhance the validity of the tale. For those new to this world, it seems completely bizarre, but it adds to the surreal setting. Plus, the world building is very focused; furthermore, it seems organic.
Flaco’s relationship with Ana is strangely the most functional relationship she has. Her lover, Ignacio, appears to be supportive, but there is a tense friction there when Ana must put her people before the specific needs of her family. Seeing the protagonist juggle all of these things grounds the fantastic tale.
Visually, this book is impressive. The backdrop of skyscrapers being eaten away by urban decay is gorgeous. The Jade, aka the wilderness, is vibrant and deadly. The characters, even the masked mutant raiders, have a sinuous grace to them. Fluidity like this makes Ana and her enemies jump off the page. The opening panels set the bar very high, and those high expectations are easily met.
For readers who have an affinity for futuristic, post apocalyptic stories, War Mother #1 is your new favorite series. Only one issue in, I am fully invested. Don’t just jump on this series. Dive in head first.