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Animosity: “The Wake” (Aftershock Comics, 2016; #1-4, Animosity: The Wake #1)

Hello, reader! Welcome back on this fine Wednesday. A little birdie told me that you didn’t get enough sentient animal feels from WE3, so I thought I’d help rectify that.

No, don’t go! I promise not to mention “Jurassic Bark” again.

Oh, wait. Oops. Fine, but that’s the last time. Anyway, speaking of talking birds.

All the animals in the world have gained sentience. Every last one of them. Frogs, dogs, hogs, chogs*, cats, rats, bats, gnats, and all sorts of animals that don’t rhyme. And a lot of them are unhappy.

The humans are pretty easy targets.

But not all animals are on the offensive. Some, like Sandor the bloodhound, are loyal to their masters; in his case, a young girl named Jesse. Now the two of them are on the road to try to find Jesse’s half-brother, and to do so they have to navigate angry animal militias and the last vestiges of humanity.

Watching animals struggle with the cruelties they committed or experienced trying to survive is heartbreaking, but also fascinating. Marguerite Bennett blends humor, drama, suspense, and even a bit of horror to create a fractious, dog-eat-dog world. It questions the morality of eating animals, of unchecked human reproduction, of religious doctrine as means of oppression, all while making the immediate world feel unpredictable and dangerous.

And Animosity looks good at the same time. Regular series artist Rafael de Latorre and colorist Rob Schwager don’t lean into the terror. Their art is representational. It’s usually sunny and bright, in fact. What makes it unnerving is the amount of expression they give animals. Being cornered by a tiger is frightening. Being cornered by a tiger with human anger and the pain of loss written on its face is a new level of terrifying. Juan Doe provides art for the one-shot, The Wake, and he leans into a moodier, more oppressive look. His figures border on being cel-shaded, which drives home his issue’s dystopian vibe.

There’s nothing else quite like Animosity on the stands. I know I’ve mentioned WE3, but despite their obvious similarity, the two books are mechanically different. Actually, what this book most reminds me of is Y: The Last Man. That might sound like a strange comparison at first, but both books hinge on a mysterious event changing the fabric of society, shady scientists and potential conspiracies, and a roadtrip through all the dangers of this new world. So if that’s up your alley, there’s a good chance you’ll dig Animosity.

*Just kidding, there aren’t any chogs in this book. That would be a weird crossover, actually, but I’d be down for it.

Collected in

  • Animosity, Vol. 1: The Wake (#1-4, Animosity: The Wake #1)


Writer: Marguerite Bennett | Artists: Rafael de Latorre (1-4), Juan Doe (The Rise) | Colorist: Rob Schwager | Letterer: Marshall Dillon | Editor: Mike Marts

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