Published on April 20th, 2015 | by Steven Roman
Review: Lola XOXO: Wasteland Madam #1 (of 4)
If there’s one thing that readers of science fiction and fantasy can’t seem to get enough of, it’s dystopian, postapocalyptic scenarios. The Hunger Games has ruled bookstore cash registers and movie theater box offices the past few years, and, after a 30-year absence, this spring brings the return of Max Rockatansky, the Road Warrior himself, in Mad Max: Fury Road. So then the timing couldn’t be better for the return of another survivor of a hell on Earth: Lola XOXO.
Aspen Comics’ Lola XOXO: Wasteland Madam #1, written by Vince Hernandez (Charismagic, Trish Out of Water) and illustrated by creator Siya Oum (Michael Turner’s Soulfire: Faith), picks up some time after the events of their first miniseries, 2014’s Lola XOXO. Working from a temporary base on the remains of Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, Lola—or Maddy, as she was known before World War III—leads a ragtag band of survivors who are repairing the damaged airstrips and prepping a jet airliner for a trip to what they hope will be a new life. Interspersed with the group’s work are flashbacks to Maddy’s pre-apocalypse life, which included a fiancé who died of radiation poisoning after being caught in the fallout from the nuke that incinerated Chicago. Maddy, mysteriously enough, was completely unaffected…
As stories go, this one is fairly light—for such a bleak setting, you’d expect a heavier tone as the twenty pages fly by. But considering Oum’s art contains few placements of blacks for dramatic lighting effects—even in broad daylight, barely anyone casts a shadow—perhaps a moodier story would be out of place here. Still, it’s really nice art.
My only real complaint is that there’s no sort of “Our Story Thus Far…” recap to make this issue accessible to new readers like myself who missed Lola’s first appearance. Considering the official Lola XOXO website hasn’t been updated since it was launched with placeholder text and images that predate the original miniseries, and Aspen’s site doesn’t provide much character information either (yes, I looked), that’s a big misstep.
Bottom line? Although light on story, it’s the eye-catching art that makes Lola XOXO: Wasteland Madam worth checking out. So jump into your V8 Interceptor and race hell-bent across the wastelands for your local comic shop. The madam will be waiting for you, soldier…
Lola XOXO: Wasteland Madam #1
Written by Vince Hernandez
Art and main cover by Siya Oum
Publisher: Aspen Comics
32 pages • full-color
Now on sale