Caleb and his son have left the once safe place they had away from the Dead Roads in the second issue of the apocalyptic series The XII. As they travel the road we see what has happened to the United States within the past 15 years. Eli learns more about his father’s past from Alvin and finds himself discovering more about what has happened outside of their relatively safe homestead.
Alvin wants to pass the time by sharing stories about Caleb as well as the mysterious 12. These feared killers were mentioned in issue one and throughout this issue their name brings terror and is even used as a threat by unexpected travelers whom Caleb refuses to share food with. Eli feels pity for these people, but his father insists that they have already been lost to a madness that can’t be cured. During a particularly restless night a fight erupts between Alvin and Caleb, but before it’s officially resolved two men appear and plan to take our main characters to sell for supplies. Caleb reacts and as he fights to protect his son, we learn more about the 12. At the end of this issue we get to see a city, that has managed to survive in some way through the 15 years.
The art in this issue moves between the cold grey, white images of the men on the road in search of supplies and aid, to warmer toned scenes around a fire. These warm scenes do initially reflect moments of rest and heartfelt connection, but as the story moves toward a darker tone even this warm lighting is tinged with darkness. What I really enjoyed about this issue was the inclusion of history about the world of The XII. I am even more intrigued by just what and who the 12 are. The art within this series reflects the sorrowful nature of a dying world so well that I find myself staring at the images to catch more intricate details and elements as I read the story. You can find The XII on Comixology now.
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