The Wind Raider #1


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The Wind Raider #1


  • Words: Richard Fenny & Dean Loftis
  • Art: Gabriel Hardman
  • Inks: Gabriel Hardman
  • Colors: Micah Farritor
  • Story Title: Part One (of Three)
  • Publisher: Ape Entertainment
  • Price: $3.50
  • Release Date: Jan 31, 2009

Mystical warriors who control the wind and a young boy with a fantastic claim are the centerpiece of this post-apocalyptic fantasy.

A desolate wasteland that appears to be a devastated Earth in some distant future is not exactly the most original setting for science fiction.  Throw in some mystical warriors and you send the story into standard fantasy fare.  That’s not a damning criticism, just an observation and in the end the reality that a story like this needs to live up to.  The reader has seen all of this before in the likes of Wasteland, Mad Max, and Waterworld.

It speaks to the archetypes present in such a story that they continue to be told after their topical insertion into the public mindset in the post-nuclear age.  One would have thought with the end of the Cold War and the daily threat of nuclear holocaust only a minor buzzing in the background of the most paranoid of people, that such stories would have fallen to the way side.  However, people love underdogs and are genuinely interested in allegories to the destructive tendencies of the human race.  So the archetype remains a powerful one. 

With the removal of a palatable fear to the masses, the trick becomes to make this kind of story a compelling read.  When you delve into a concept with such retreaded tropes, it can be difficult.  Finney and Loftis step up to the challenge and go to great lengths to provide an entertaining story, if not an original one.

Young Joshua is an effervescent light in an otherwise bleak world.  He is still adventurous, full of life, and curiosity – even if his father and the entire population of the human race would rather that he not be.  When he stumbles upon a meteorite of pure lode, the promise to change his family’s life is an opportunity that none of them wish to pass up.

The authors go to great lengths to set up the richness of the character of their young lead as it makes the coming tragedy and main thrust of the story all the more startling and heartbreaking.  When the mysterious Tristan comes to Joshua’s aide, he is given an enigmatic quality making him a perfect foil for the younger character.  Knowing that he will become Joshua’s mentor seems like a logical progression for the character.

The villains are somewhat one dimensional.  They are stereotypical pirates, interested in a quick buck and spilt blood.  Their cowardly reaction to the entrance of the warrior is completely telegraphed and expected.  Fortunately, the writers have taken such care in expositional world building and characterization that the cliché is easily forgiven.

The art by Gabriel Hardman makes up even more ground.  A storyboard artist with X-Men and Spider-Man on his resume, Hardman gives the book a cinematic quality.  His approach to panel work gives sparse artwork not devoid of detail, but not overly busy or rendered to ludicrous proportions.  There is a minimalistic approach here that still allows for emotional depth and dynamic action. 

The coloring of the book seems almost monochromatic at times.  Farritor uses this to bring out the oppressiveness of the desert milieu.  However, there is fantastic use of lighting that makes the human characters and manmade objects pop and stand out in contrast to the dust and wind.

The Wind Raider takes an oft used concept managing to still provide an interesting and exciting story.  In the end, that is all a reader can expect from writers.  When outstanding artwork from a new talent is thrown into the mix, it just makes for good comic fun.      


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