AfterShock Comics has announced a new series from Ted Anderson, Nuno Plati, and Marshall Dillon in which all of the adults in the world die suddenly, forcing children to rebuild society without their help. Basically, a post-millennial power fantasy. The solicit follows:
ORPHAN AGE #1 / $3.99 / 32 pages / Full Color / ON SALE 4.10.2019
Writer: Ted Anderson
Artist: Nuno Plati
Letterer: Marshall Dillon
Cover: Nuno Plati
1:10 Incentive cover: Juan Doe
One day all the adults died, all over the world, at the same time.
Now it’s twenty years later, and the children — all grown up — are still rebuilding the world. Horses and caravans are the only thin lines connecting tiny, scattered settlements — little sparks in the great dark night. Gasoline is gone, phones long-dead, television a memory. The only power in America is the New Church, the religion of the angry children, that blames the destruction of the old world on the dead adults.
In the settlement of Dallastown, a stranger comes riding in one day, telling a story of escape from the New Church’s unstoppable Firemen. The Church is on the march, and the world might burn again —and the only hope might be a scared teenage girl, a gunslinger keeping his secrets, and a woman of few words and long knives. Welcome to the Orphan Age.
You know, things couldn’t possibly be worse than they are now. Why not try it?
In a press release, a wordy Anderson explained the concept further:
Orphan Age is a post-apocalyptic Western set 20 years after an unknown event killed every adult in the world, leaving only the children alive. Those children have since grown up and survived and tried to rebuild in the ruins of a society that they barely remember. It’s an adventure road trip story, built around a question: what kind of world would our children build, if we weren’t there to help them? What would it look like if the chain of civilization and society was suddenly broken? What if the next generation didn’t have the previous generation to rely on?
I’ve always loved stories with post-apocalyptic settings, and I wanted to create a world that took that apocalypse seriously, that looked at the societies and groups that would spring up in its wake. Survival in these types of worlds isn’t always about materials—the food you can scavenge, the shelter you build—it’s also about the people you work with, the networks you form, the tribes you create. Maybe you can shoot a gun, and maybe you’re ruthless enough to kill, but you’re not going to survive the first winter unless you’ve got a place to live and other people to help you. In a world where society basically died in a single day, what kinds of new societies will appear? I’m really excited to show this world to readers!”
Orphan Age has been in my head for literally over a decade at this point. It stemmed from me reading and watching other post-apocalyptic works and wondering: what are the long-term challenges these worlds would face? How would you go about not just surviving, but thriving? I think a lot of works with a post-apocalyptic setting devolve into a kind of power fantasy: in a world where there are no rules, you can be as badass as you want and show off all your cool skills and kill your enemies indiscriminately! But that’s not how a society perpetuates its own existence. Power fantasies are fun for a while, but in reality, keeping a community alive is a much harder task. So Orphan Age is, on one level, a story about communities: how people come together, how they define themselves, and how they resolve their conflicts.
There is a complete story plotted out for Orphan Age—I don’t know if I can say how long I’ve planned it for, but there’s several major arcs. Overall, the story is a road trip: our heroes are on the run from a larger force, moving from town to town, at first trying to escape but eventually trying to fight back. There’s a conflict brewing that’s going to envelop all these fragile communities that have grown up in the aftermath of disaster, and our protagonists are going to play a major role in it. There’s going to be action, tragedy, thrills, drama, romance, gunplay and standoffs and quiet nights under the stars. It’s going to be a hell of a ride, and I can’t wait to bring everyone along.
Plati, on the other hand, was much more concise, naming 3 reasons readers should add the series to their pull list…
Well, reason 1, it’s a cool sci fi premise, reason 2, it has really cool main characters, each with its own quirks and mysteries, and 3, it will look and feel quite different from what is on stands.
And what it’s been like to work on the book:
Honestly, really great, there’s a great back and forth regarding the story, the art and the overall feel and tone of the book. It has been a great experience so far.
Orphan Age #1 hits stores in April.