The wayward not-so-super group of Archer and Armstrong teamed up with Quantum and Woody have just arrived at Old Macdonald’s farm (yes, that one) to find a not real friendly welcoming committee. Namely, a whole bunch of exotic animals looking to eat their faces off. Of course all four are saved as usual by the timely intervention of the goat and all five choose discretion as the better part of valor and beat a hasty retreat back to the tracks to catch another train. They resume their journey in true hobo fashion, making their way across the country in search of more signs to the fabled treasure of the hobos. The only drawback being that only Armstrong is really built for it and before long the rest of them look like they’ll be lucky to survive the rest of the trip until Archer has a moment of drunken inspiration and they decide to let others do their dirty work for them.
All of which of course takes place in a fantastic montage set to “Big Rock Candy Mountain” to hilarious effect, half of which is spent by Woody trying to be a wingman and get Archer laid. Once they have all the pieces of the puzzle and Quantum feels he’s successfully broken the hobo code, they once again set out for their final destination. What they don’t know is that Mondostano has planted the grossest mole you’ve ever seen among them and they’re intercepted en route by Mr. Meat and his plantimal brethren. An epic battle ensues aboard their train and things are looking dicey until Armstrong calls his hobo brothers to battle and the tide is turned. Afterward, the boys rest up and enjoy some abomination stew before their destination finally heaves into sight…as well as a fleet of Mondostano choppers full of the bad guys.
Yet another side-splitting chapter in the tale of The Delinquents and their journey of the ass-map is in the bag with only more remaining. I’ll be sad to this particular miniseries end as it’s been non-stop fun and laughs since page one in a way only possible by joining these two dysfunctional duos. With Archer more or less out of commission as he finds himself with the debauched aid of Woody, Armstrong finds himself in a new and disturbing place, that of the voice of reason. But he vows to straighten up and pull it together for the sake of his little buddy and all the hobos who have entrusted him with their fates. With only one issue remaining, it’s sure to be chock-full of funny to help this one go out with a bang so make sure you’re back here next month for the action and laugh packed conclusion of The Delinquents.
Narrowly escaping disaster when a sinkhole opens under her feet, Dan’s sister Ashley and his research partner/girlfriend Violet manage to keep each other safe and make it to his apartment in one piece. However, deep inside the quarantine zone, they decide it’s not safe to stay there and instead leave a note for Dan and leave on foot once again for the pier at Santa Monica. Back at the makeshift government HQ, the evacuation is in full swing so Dan seizes the moment and with help from Michelle and Sheila from the news station and their producer J.J., they all pile into the news truck and disappear in the confusion. With the promise of an exclusive when it’s over, they head into the quarantine zone so Dan can rescue his sister. At least, that’s the plan until the freeway buckles under their van.
Watching their vehicle tumble out of sight on drone surveillance footage, the military believes themselves out of options and move up their timetable to burn L.A. and contain the spread. Luckily for everyone, only J.J. falls victim to the accident and the other three walk away from the crash and begin to make their way to Dan’s apartment. Sheila goes the way of the idiot horror movie victim a short later so only Dan and Michelle arrive at his place but once they do, a lightbulb goes off in Dan’s head and he uses Michelle’s satellite phone to contact the military with a plan that halt the spread of ACR. With the work now out of his hands, the two of them head to Santa Monica to link up with his sister and Violet, where Dan has to inform her of her mother’s passing in the lab fire.
While maybe not the most scientifically possible story, Matt Hawkins has presented us with what is admittedly a plausible one, no matter how unlikely. And really, if even a fraction of the events contained in this story were to actually happen, the repercussions not only for America but even the rest of the world would be felt for years after. This is the genius of Matt Hawkins, to take very real science and extrapolate it into an exciting and very readable narrative, something he’s been carving out quite the niche with Aphrodite IX and Think Tank previously and now with Wildfire. One thing his stories inspire, which not many others do, is a chain reaction of interest in the science laid out on the page with helpful starting points just waiting for you in the Science Class portion at the end. Linda Sejic’s artwork shines as well with marked evolution and improvement just from the first issue. In the end, Wildfire is not only an exciting and science-based tale of man’s creation run amok, but a commentary on a very real issue at work in our society today, which makes it even more fun to read. And for those of you that have enjoyed it as much as I did, you can start the countdown now for fall of next year when Matt and Linda return with volume two.
Almost five years after the events of last issue, Edward is still living in Iceland under his new identity and appears to have carved something of a life out for himself. Based on nothing but her appearance I believe he’s dating the woman he met at the end of that issue from the live play he wandered into downtown. Readers beware, this issue starts out a but more graphic than any other issue before it. Suffice it to say, Edward’s doing pretty well in his new life, including breaking the first genuine smile we’ve ever seen on his face. Civilian life seems to suit him as Siobhan has opened his eyes to a whole new world that doesn’t involve covert missions for shady bureaucrats with even shadier agendas. The local volcano has just erupted which has kept the two of them pretty much sequestered indoors.
Five days after the eruption, Edward returns home from the market and a familiar scene begins to play out. Much like his own first experience with wet work many years before, no sooner is he inside than the closet opens to reveal a pint-sized assassin looking to ruin his day. Down an eye and several years removed from the game, Zero doesn’t seem to have lost a step as he quickly turns the tables on his assailant. During the skirmish it’s revealed that if anything, Zero’s self-administered banishment has made him more paranoid as he has already taken care of his would-be assassin’s backup and now that he’s in control of the situation, it’s time for answers.
Will Edward rejoin the spy game or just burn those that have come looking to shatter his new idyllic existence? With Ales Kot behind the wheel, it’s anyone’s guess. Obviously he can’t remain an Icelandic chef forever because we know what his ultimate destiny looks like and he couldn’t possibly cause it inside a kitchen. This month’s artist is Ricardo Lopez Ortiz, whose work is almost a mix of several previous artists on this book, almost cartoony in a sense but when put to the test with some very un-cartoony subject matter, comes through anything but. Also, it’s well suited to both the scenery of Zero’s location and the action on the page, in fact taking on qualities of Matteo Scalera’s work in the action sequence at the end. I have a feeling things will be much more classic Zero next month after the events of this one but we’ll all just have to wait and see.
Since Parnell’s involvement has thrown everything into disarray, Connor and SKYNET both have been left with no choice but to join forces if either one wants any hope of survival. Connor orders his men to halt their attack and instead pull back and create a defensive line around the time door facility. His orders are met with confusion and skepticism after all that’s been lost but are eventually followed. He now turns to Marcus to help him with one last-ditch effort, a final resort plan to secure the one thing that could help end this all. And if that doesn’t work, he implores Marcus to take his wife and child to safety in his absence. Putting the plan into motion, a small splinter squad breaks off from what’s left of the Resistance and springs Dr. Kogan out of her holding cell, replacing her with the remains of one of the fallen.
With her in tow, the three of them meet up with a similarly small faction of still loyal terminators and Connor and Kogan are brough to the heart of SKYNET, or what remains of it. Parnell now believes Kogan dead and SKYNET all but beaten so for now he moves his attention elsewhere. This allows Connor the time to finally come face to face with the enemy he’s been fighting since birth, although neither he or it probably ever thought it would go down this way. SKYNET explains to him why they initiated the Judgment Day attack and how since then it has learned and evolved and ultimately sought to become more human. Out of this meeting an idea is given form, one that mirrors SKYNET’s goals but in the opposite direction. It might be crazy but now that things are coming down to the wire, it may just be the only hope that either one of them has of seeing tomorrow.
I can’t quite put my finger on it but I had to double-check that Pete Woods was indeed still the artist on the book since his artwork seems to have gone through something of an evolution with this issue, a little more flashy and dynamic then it has been before. Only fitting I suppose, since the story has come to a real turning point with man and machine working together for the first time. It may be born out of necessity and mutual need but hopefully it will forge a bond that will continue through whatever happens next and help both sides to coexist moving forward. The only way to find out for sure is to check back next month for what’s in store with issue eleven of The Final Battle.