Imagine being a child and waking up to find every adult on the planet mysteriously gone. Perished! Poof! Some might cheer this strange occurrence, but a new comic series from AfterShock Comics examines this exact scenario in chilling drama and detail.
Orphan Age #1 is written by Ted Anderson (Moth & Whisper, My Little Pony), with art by Nuno Plati (Alpha: Big Time, Marvel Girl) and fortified by sharp letters from Marshall Dillon. It doesn't arrive in comic shops until this April, but SYFY WIRE has an early look inside the premiere issue and an illuminating talk with its author.
The plot picks up 20 years later, with the abandoned children grown into adults and occupying their time by rebuilding their shattered world. Scattered settlements are serviced by horses and caravans which supply a network of communities that sparkle in the night's engulfing darkness. Gasoline is dried up. Telephones are extinct. Television and the internet are now just a faded memory. The only actual force of destiny in America is the New Church, the adopted religion of the post-event children, which blames the destruction of the old world on the long-dead adults.
In Dallastown, a wandering stranger rides into town to deliver a far-fetched tale of narrow escape from the New Church’s ruthless Firemen. With the Church on the offensive, society's only hope could be a frightened teenage girl, a silent gunslinger, and a mysterious woman brandishing deadly knives.
"I've always loved stories with post-apocalyptic settings, and I wanted to create a world that took that apocalypse seriously, that looked at the societies and groups that would spring up in its wake," Anderson tells SYFY WIRE. "Survival in these types of worlds isn't always about materials—the food you can scavenge, the shelter you build—it's also about the people you work with, the networks you form, the tribes you create.
“Orphan Age has been in my head for literally over a decade at this point," he recalls. "It stemmed from me reading and watching other post-apocalyptic works and wondering: what are the long-term challenges these worlds would face? How would you go about not just surviving, but thriving?"
Anderson reveals that the overarching story is a road trip adventure where our heroes are on the run from a larger force, moving from town to town, at first trying to escape but eventually attempting to fight back.
"There's a conflict brewing that's going to envelop all these fragile communities that have grown up in the aftermath of disaster, and our protagonists are going to play a major role in it. There's going to be action, tragedy, thrills, drama, romance, gunplay and standoffs and quiet nights under the stars. It's going to be a hell of a ride, and I can't wait to bring everyone along,” says Anderson.
AfterShock Comics' Orphan Age #1 arrives on April 10, 2019.