low road slice

Exclusive: Teen refugees stride across America in Boom!'s new sci-fi series, Low Road West

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Sep 12, 2018, 8:20 PM EDT

Pull out your pedometer and step into a fresh new sci-fi series set in a ravaged United States as a diverse group of resourceful teenagers trek across the decimated landscape of America toward the promise of a brighter, cleaner future.

Boom! Studios' Low Road West #1, launches a new five-issue limited series delivered by Eisner Award-nominated writer Phillip Kennedy Johnson (Power of The Dark Crystal, Aquaman), and matched with pencil art from Flaviano (I Am Groot, Spider-Man/Deadpool) and colors courtesy of Miquel Muerto.


The intriguing plot follows five teenage refugees attempting to survive the mass exodus from a war-torn East Coast to the sweet sanctuary of San Francisco. When the young travelers find themselves stranded in a radioactive Oklahoma wasteland, they take shelter in a spooky ghost town that's much more than it seems. The bizarre, unnatural threats they encounter there will make them question what they think they know about life, death, time, reality, and especially about family as they learn to adapt, trust, and eventually rely on each other to stay alive.

“Low Road West is a love letter to the journey we’ve all experienced as unsure teenagers, namely how sometimes it can feel like it’s the end of the world. Except this time, it literally might just be,” explained Eric Harburn, Senior Editor at Boom!. “Phillip, Flaviano, Miquel, and Jim have created a diverse cast of characters who not only have to find a way to survive the dangers lurking for them on the open road…but also find a way to survive each other.”

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SYFY WIRE spoke with Phillip Kennedy Johnson on this absorbing post-apocalyptic odyssey to learn about the imminent dangers on the perilous path, and where the storyline might take readers as they step into this irradiated coming-of-age saga.

Following the chat, check out our exclusive page preview in the full gallery below, with an added sneak peek at Issue #2! Low Road West #1 arrives in comic shops on Wednesday, Sept. 12.

What can you tell us about what's coming up in Low Road West?

Phillip Kennedy Johnson: Five American refugees who have seen the death of their entire world find a door to a new one. As the characters unlock the mysteries of this dangerous new place, they learn that life, death, and even time and space don’t mean what they once did. And there’s no way they’ll survive if they don’t learn to trust each other. 

At first, our characters think they’re facing threats like radiation, starvation, exposure… maybe deserters or harriers, if they’re REALLY unlucky. But as they realize the gravity of their situation, they start facing threats that none of them can explain. And they discover that something much, much worse than harriers is coming for them. 

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What's been the biggest surprise about working on the series' plot and characters?

I’ve gotten attached to the characters of Low Road West, and this story has always been about them, but as the story came together, I was surprised how much the settings became like characters themselves. The settings have a ton of secret backstories and mysteries that slowly get answered (some of them, anyway) over the course of the series, and some of those answers are very different from what I originally had planned. 

There’s also a surprise character, NOT a member of the core five from issue #1, that readers will meet in issue #2. That character’s origin, and their strong ties to all the other elements of the story, surprised me a lot, and I’m really excited for readers to meet them. 

And finally: the ending. I wrote the entire arc with one ending in mind, but when I got there, I realized that the only ending that made sense was very different. I can pretty much guarantee it will surprise readers, because I didn’t see it coming myself.