Looking at the summer teleseries, Falling Skies, and seeing promos for the Machine Stops fall series Revolution, one can’t help noting the growth of post-Apocalyptic entertainments coming our way. Perhaps it’s a sign of the times: the audience need for reassurance that no matter how crappy things appear to be, we have survived worse. In comics, this grimly positive fantasy is currently repped by Benaroya/Image Comics’ Marksmen which recently saw its first trade release of the title’s opening six issues.
Set in western America after the country’s major economic collapse (“Too big to fail? That’s what all would say to each other about the American economy.”), the series follows the inhabitants of New San Diego after the country has devolved into a series of independent city-states surrounded by a wasteland populated by packs of “scum-sucking cannibals.” Our primary window into this rough world is marksman Drake McCoy, who we first meet scouting the Arizona desert on his horse and having to fend off a band of hungry punks. Turns out the land’s ragtag flesh-eaters are the least of his worries, however.
Meeting up with a group of refugees from the Texas enclave of Lone Star, our hero learns that the leaders of the faith-based city-state are planning on attacking New San Diego. Led by a bogus evangelical named Deacon Glenn and his henchman the Duke, the rangers from Lone Star are looking to steal NSD’s solar technology to replace its drying oil reserves. New San Diego’s leaders are comprised of somewhat self-satisfied scientists and military, with one of its biggest brains being Drake’s mother Dr. Sharon Heston. The group of refugees that’s come to warn the city include a former co-founder of the city, Joe Percival, who has a personal past with the MILF-y Dr. Sharon.