Pullbox Reviews Finale- A very atypical story of post-apocalyptic redemption

In the aftermath of an apocalyptic event, a lone woman named Ása must venture across the dangerous landscape to deliver a mysterious message. But when a figure from her past emerges to threaten the mission, how far will she go in the name of hope?

Suppose you’re coming into this review expecting me to talk about a post-apocalyptic story of redemption or a message of hope to reinvigorate a broken humanity. In that case, I’m gonna have to disappoint. I mean, sure, that stuff is all here but it’s not the meat & potatoes of this rolling riff of a comic. If you’re showing up with an open mind, ready to hear a spoiler-free review of an unconventional story, come on in!

Travis Corwin (comic writer/singer/guitarist for progressive rock band Antinode) has written up a very different kind of post-apocalyptic wasteland. Sure, societal breakdown features prominently in the premise of Finale, but that’s not the last word. The last word is to be found, not only in Corwin’s perfect use of humor as a diversion but also in the message Ása is working so hard to deliver. She hopes that what divides the scattered remnants of those left behind can be overturned and that what really matters can unite us all. Of course, there are the usual roadblocks and dangers along the way, but through it all Ása remains unbent, unbowed, undauntedly steadfast in her resolve. And that’s about all I can tell you about the story without dipping into spoiler territory.

We can, however, talk all about the art, lovingly applied by Phillip Ginn. I will enthusiastically rant about how, once again, post-apocalyptic standards are ignored as Ginn’s use of color leans away from the grimdark mold. I love the bright approach of inks and watercolors, completely at odds with what most readers might expect at the End of the World. And it isn’t that he generally shies away from darker themes. Just hit the link to his IG page above and it’s pretty obvious that he’s more than comfortable in that wheelhouse. It’s just that the theme for Finale is hope, an angle readers raised on Mad Max movies don’t get to explore very often.

Finale is at odds with expectations, and if I’m being honest (I’ll never lie to you, dear reader) I’d have to say that this hasn’t been the easiest review to write. There are so many approaches, it was tough trying to decide on how best to describe this story: Straight up post-apocalyptic adventure/survival; tongue-in-cheek parable; near-Pythonesque level farce… it’s all there, waiting to be explored. If you’re at all confused about what to make of my thoughts in this review, don’t sweat it. In the reading of Ása’s story, I had more than my share of doubts. Right up until the…

Finale

Final Score: 11/13

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