Wildfire: Volume 1
Writer: Matt Hawkins
Artist: Linda Sejic
Distributed By: Image Comics
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
Something new crossed my desk this month, a new trade paperback with a premise I found incredibly interesting and artwork that simply wowed me. In fact, I found the story and artwork to be so interesting, I decided to review Wildfire: Volume 1 as one of the first new articles for the 2015 year of G-POP.net.
Wildfire: Volume 1 is a trade paperback collecting issues 1-4 of the comic book series by writer Matt Hawkins and artist Linda Sejic. As the series opens, we find the great city of Los Angeles in ruins, but what has happened to cause this city to fall? For that, we have to travel back in time four days to the moment when researcher Dr. Beth Silva announced a breakthrough in genetically engineered food.
GMOs or genetically modified organisms are a controversial topic in society. Many companies, including Coca Cola, Nestle, Proctor and Gamble, Dannon, Keebler, Hershey, Nabisco, Nature Valley, Ocean Spray and more use GMO ingredients and, although it has become popular among companies seeking better, hardier plant life to create the ingredients for their products, still others argue that there are too many risks involved. After all, no one is really sure what affects these GMOs are having on the environment and the consumers themselves.
So, when Dr. Silva announces this breakthrough, a fib on her part as her lab has yet to perfect accelerated growth of edible plants in an effort to end world hunger, her words spark much excitement. Scientists want to see her results on both sides of the fence. Pro-GMOs want to see positive results while Anti-GMOs want to prove the dangerous outcome of tampering with nature.
Knowing that the experiments on bean sprouts have not been perfected, she asks her team, led by scientist Dan Miller, to present results using dandelions at a press conference. But when a protestor accidentally causes the tank containing the accelerated-growth dandelions to crack, there are disastrous results. The city of Los Angeles becomes inundated with the weeds, causing a “wildfire” epidemic of dandelions, escalating the possibility of actual wild fires to take place and threatening the city’s infrastructure.
Can Dr. Miller and his team stop the epidemic before the military decides to use its own method of taking out the problem? He had better figure something out. His sister is still in the evacuation zone, along with Violet Silva, co-lab partner and his boss’ daughter. If the military has its way, the whole area will be wiped out of existence, along with everyone who hasn’t been successfully evacuated!
What an interesting story! Predictable in nature, but very interesting. It’s not exactly a pro or con GMO tale - the creators make very certain that readers understand this. It’s more of a look at what GMOs can do if left unchecked and unregulated and if unscrupulous individuals were allowed to do whatever they wanted with them. The story was as captivating as the artwork, which was incredibly colorful and detailed. I kept marveling at the color…pointing it out to anyone who passed me while I was reading Wildfire: Volume 1. And I loved the ending of the story, leading into further adventures with an unforeseen after-effect created by the experimental hormones introduced to the environment. Cool!
In addition to the variant covers in the back of this trade paperback, Wildfire: Volume 1 contains detailed information about GMOs: what they are, pros and cons, where they are used, etc., plus information regarding various events in the comic book series, such as mutations caused by fires, sink holes and more. Websites are included in case the reader would like to find out more information available on each topic.
Wildfire: Volume 1 is a trade paperback with an interesting story, captivating artwork and characters the readers can relate to and grow to care about as the story progresses. A terrific job by Matt Hawkins and Linda Sejic and I can’t wait to see more from this duo!