Writer: W. Maxwell Prince
Artist: Filipe Andrade
Letters: Good Old Neon
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: September 6th, 2023
Swan Songs #3 continues the Twilight Zone-style series. Much like W. Maxwell Prince’s other series Ice Cream Man, Swan Songs features one and done stories that range from moving to chilling. Sometimes they’re a bit of both. Each issue of Swan Songs deals with the ending of something. This issue has a story featuring “the end of the end of the world” and is a different kind of post-apocalypse story, an Adam and Eve story with a twist, set on a scarred Earth where nuclear war happened years ago.
The story in Swan Songs #3 is fairly simple on the surface, but there is a very deep theme explored, that rigid devotion to one religion or idea can lead to tragedy. Half of the book focuses on Adeline and Evan, who come out of their bunkers years after a nuclear apocalypse scorches the Earth. Wandering around the scarred terrain, they run into each other by chance and we see their story play out over time. They have no protective equipment, no masks or suits to wear against the lingering radiation. It’s a great romantic story between the two survivors, as they live a simple life and it’s interesting watching how they fight to survive in this new world.
Simultaneously, a trio of scientists who had been living in a protected lab for years also come out and start exploring the terrain. Their story is equally interesting, though their story isn’t a romantic one, it’s a story of exploration as the three are excited to see what this new world has to offer. When the two groups run into each other, tragedy occurs. I enjoyed the story and I was taken by surprise by the ending. This book (as well as the Ice Cream Man series) manages to hit me with a surprise twist almost every time.
What’s great about this issue and the Swan Songs series is that the stories resonate emotionally with the reader. They’re not simply O. Henry type stories with twist endings, they hit you in the brain AND the heart.
Though I didn’t enjoy this issue as much as the brilliant last issue, this is still a solid tale and you should pick up this book if you’re a fan of “The Twilight Zone”, “Outer Limits”, or any other anthology series.
Filipe Andrade’s color penciled art on Swan Songs #3 gives the story an off-kilter bizarre feel. His art reminded me of the film “Fantastic Planet” as the two main characters explore the landscape of this post-apocalyptic Earth, twisted trees and giant beasts trudging across this new world.
Swan Songs #3 is another wonderful issue of the series, with a great twist ending and many touching moments. Each issue of this series is a well-crafted complete story with a beginning and ending, and it’s a great alternative to most series that have stories that seem to run forever with no solid ending. Recommended.