Nuclear Family #3
Aftershock Comics 2021
Written by Stephanie Phillips
Illustrated by Tony Shasteen
Coloured by JD Mettler
Lettered by Troy Peteri
Surviving a nuclear attack in the 1950s, the McCleans wake to find that the explosions have somehow propelled them into a post-apocalyptic United States that has been moved entirely underground. While the McCleans find a country caught in a never-ending war, they also learn that this new underground society might be willing to go to extreme lengths in order to destroy their enemies. Can the McCleans find a way to return to their own time before it’s too late?
Last issue changed my mind about this story and this issue takes it to the very next level for me. Especially with how it ends because that ending blew me away like no one’s business. Part of me wonders why they are so hellbent on calling the McCleans communists instead of trying to figure out what the heck is going on the other part of me figures it is the U.S. Government so naturally they act like idiots. Stereotype or plain reality either way you look at it it does seem that the government is the bad guy in most every situation.
I am enjoying the way that this is being told. The story & plot development that we see through how the sequence of events unfold as well as how the reader learns information is presented extremely well. The character development is really quite strong and seeing Mr. McClean in that decontamination chamber and listening to the dialogue there i’m flabbergasted by how Dan doesn’t realise the story is too absurd not to be true. I am thrilled by Robin’s ingenuity and gumption however and how we see her act and react to the situations and circumstances they encounter is phenomenal. The pacing is excellent and as it takes us through the pages revealing more and more of the story it's nice to get caught up in what we’re seeing.
I like how we see this being structured and how the layers within the story are there but aren’t giving us much information. It is a double edged sword because we this need to know more so we keep coming back but it’s crazy frustrating that we know so little. How we see everything working together to create the story’s ebb & flow while also moving the story forward is very well achieved indeed.
I think Tony is the most underrated artist working today. There is nothing short of brilliance in how he’s able to take the linework, its varying weights and techniques and bring this insanely high level of quality detail work that we’re seeing. The sheer sense of realism in the faces and facial expressions blows me away time and time again. Seeing the father in the tube I wish we’d seen him, in this day and age there’s no need for tricks or hiding the parts as it is what it is and a flaccid penis is no big deal. That we see backgrounds so prevalently utilised throughout to expand the moments and bring us the depth perception, sense of scale and the overall sense of size and scope to the story is amazingly well rendered. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels shows a masters eye for storytelling. The colour work is equally as impressive and that the various hues and tones within the colours are being utilised to create the shading, highlights and shadow work is sensational. It does show such a great understanding of how colour works and how to use it so effectively as we’re seeing here with the hues cast from light sources as well as through movement.
This series is doing precisely what it should be doing and that’s getting better and better with each issue. The story is interesting and the premise while based off another story veers off into a modern take that has some of the craziest things happening. Smartly written with teenage ingenuity it’ll be interesting to see how Robin, Hank and their new friend manage to save the day.